Bentley Continental GT Pace Convertible (2014) review



Not significantly far more than a calendar year following its start Bentley’s performance flagship has had a minimal tickle, presumably with the intention of trying to keep its kudos-hungry clientele assured that they have received ‘the most recent version’.

The 2014 Continental GTC Velocity squeezes 10bhp further from its previously humungously strong 12-cylinder twin-turbo engine (now producing 626bhp), and 17lb ft of added torque to consider its twist action to a Place-Shuttle-equalling 607lb ft. Given that the preceding model was currently torquey ample to push and pull Dreamliners close to an airport apron we might say these alterations may possibly not be detectable to a driver, even one taking the unlikely step of chopping in his 2013 Conti for this new 1.

Bentleys are intended to be sporty – is the GTC Speed a performer?

It truly is hellishly quick in a straight line, as you’d expect, knocking off the -60mph benchmark in just four.1sec, surging to 100mph in 9.7 and, theoretically at minimum, going on to strike the double ton, topping out at 203mph. That tends to make it only a whisker slower than its tin-leading brother, which manages 4.0sec and 206mph. Pretty remarkable when you take into account that, at a gargantuan 2495kg, the cabrio is 175kg heavier than the coupe.

With all that fat you may possibly anticipate the GTC Velocity to manage like a turbocharged bus, but you would be amazed. You will find a whole lot of dynamic expertise underneath this great skin, like a four-wheel-generate chassis that dishes up most of the drive to the rear (60:40 as a rule, but it can push that ratio as considerably as 85:fifteen), permitting you to defy physics with your pace in tight corners.

When the bends are more rapidly the dealing with is a revelation. The Velocity types have a decrease ride top than common GTCs, and complete the trick of seeming reduce, lighter and sharper than a vehicle of this dimension has any appropriate to do. You can actually hustle it, utilizing the sympathetic gearing of the 8-pace vehicle to harmony the revs and dangle on to a lot more momentum than appears possible.

When you realise that you have possibly overcooked it you may require a first rate established of brakes, and I have usually discovered Bentley’s standard metal supper-plate discs correct on the funds. But our automobile experienced £10,610 value of carbon ceramics which, when cold, give you the fright of your life and, when heat, significantly absence feel. Help save them for the race track.

It truly is a convertible – does that imply refinement is compromised?

Inevitably, but only by the smallest of margins. Firstly, the trip is so extraordinary that it defies typical road-test description. Neglect primary ride or secondary ride, the GTC Velocity simply bulldozers via potholes, over bumps and off cambers without having bothering you with any of it. It is a power of character, served by all that fat and bespoke 21in wheels working on body fat tyres.

Chassis integrity is extraordinary, too, with just the occasional shudder suggesting a modicum of the coupe’s entire body manage has long gone west, and totally no signal of scuttle shake (let’s encounter it, nothing weighing 2.five tonnes should to be capable of shaking).

Cabin sound is subdued for a cloth-roofed convertible, despite the fact that I was dissatisfied by a reasonable sum of whistle from the c-pillars, which led me to check out more than as soon as that the rear home windows had been completely closed. Drop the roof and you happen to be into a straight struggle among the howling of the W12 motor and the howling of the wind. Pick Sport method and the exhaust then joins the get together, creating a racket that flicks from enjoyable to wearisome in the place of about five minutes.

What is actually the Bentley GT Speed cabrio like inside of?

Completely luxurious and exceptionally great at the identical time. Bentley is brilliant at placing each penny you’ve got spent on distinct show within its cabins, instead than hiding it demurely beneath the area. The dash and control surfaces are coated with dark-tinted aluminium veneer, the seats are upholstered in diamond-quilted ‘porpoise’ gray disguise, supplemented by a ‘secondary hide’ whose colour is ‘hotspur’, and there are several lovely touches, these kinds of as the hilariously overdone spectacles scenario clipped into the transmission cubby, which weighs about as a lot as a jockey and is a £470 choice.

Because Bentleys are drivers’ automobiles, they never ever get rid of sight of the work in hand, which signifies that the instruments are clear and classical, the drilled pedals are perfectly spaced and weighted, and the steering wheel, which at 1st look appears rather low-lease in this business, reveals itself to be a sensitively weighted helm, which reads messages to your palms which the chassis has been retaining from your bottom.

The material roof is a seven-bow, triple-layered masterpiece which performs superbly, but it will take 25 seconds to run which, in cabrio conditions, is extended adequate to knit a cardigan. You can perform it at speeds up to 20mph but rarely anyone will be impressed.

Oh, and the back again seats, though deliciously pretty to look at and contact, could not be feasibly sat on by any adult human currently being I have at any time met.

Can anyone manage one particular in 2014?

Emphatically sure. Bentley is on a roll, having marketed far more vehicles in 2013 (just more than 10,000) than at any stage in its ninety five-year historical past, admittedly most of these going to China and the Americas, where new wealth is on every single corner. But Europe is Bentley’s 3rd greatest industry, adopted extremely closely by the Uk and the Middle East.

These buyers are almost certainly deaf to Bentley’s proclamations about ‘a fifteen% improvement’ in gas economic system and CO2 emissions more than the earlier generation GTC Speed – at 19mpg and 347g/km we will not assume Greenpeace to be managing a GTC on its fleet anytime shortly.

In any case, it fees £172,four hundred base, and in the spec we tested you might be searching at £202,810. That’s about £1000 for each mph.