DROPTOP DREAM: The top on Bentley's Continental GTC V8 can be lowered or raised in 25 seconds.

Auto Review: Bentley Continental GTC V8

Tool around the city in luxury.

Maybe it was the car’s muscular, wind-carved lines. Maybe it was the rumbling baritone sound it made idling in the drive-through lane. Or, maybe it was just the color: a lustrous Midnight Emerald. Whatever the reason, the clerk at Seattle’s Best Coffee was impressed by the new Bentley Continental GTC V8 I was driving. “Look at you, stylin’ and profilin’,” she whistled. “You’re gonna have to come back and take me for a ride.”

No doubt, the Continental GTC’s the sort of car my dad used to call “a real girl-getter” … on steroids. At $230K, how could it be anything but? If you’re in the market, though, for a high-performance, luxury grand tourer—and coin’s no object—this four-seater ought to be high on your list.

The GTC is the convertible version of the Continental GC Coupe. If Bentley used to have a somewhat stodgy image, that’s over. Certainly the GTC’s profile is anything but stuffy. The suspension has been lowered, for example, and the grille and air intakes have a dark-tint chrome finish, making for a low, menacing look. The car takes on a sportier feel, though, when its insulated, monsoon-proof top is lowered. All that requires is pushing a button and 25 seconds.

=as=Settling into the driver’s seat, there’s luxury all around—from the leather-covered, double-stitched seats to the touch-screen “infotainment” system. But the real luxury comes when you press on the gas. The 4.0-liter, 500-horsepower V8 bursts to life then like a champion Thoroughbred, delivering power to all four wheels, sending the car from 0 to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds.

In the end, the Bentley’s all about speed and comfort and Old World craftsmanship—and personalization. If you don’t like the 100 optional paint finishes, for instance, they’ll be happy to whip up something else. Stylin’ and profilin’, indeed.     


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