The new Bentley Continental GTC luxury 2+2 convertible completes the Bentley Continental model range following the introduction of the highly successful Continental GT in 2003 and four-door Continental Flying Spur earlier this year.
The new Continental GTC goes on sale in Europe in late 2006.
With a top speed in excess of 304 km/h, a sophisticated all-wheel drive system, state-of-the-art 12-cylinder engine, advanced air suspension and ultra-stiff body structure, the Continental GTC displays all the poise, exhilarating performance and dynamic handling of the Continental GT.
In common with its stable mates, the interior of the new Continental GTC provides an extremely high standard of craftsmanship, utilising natural wood veneers and leather hides of the finest quality.
While sharing the familiar face of the Continental family, the design personality of the new Continental GTC is distinctive and unique, as Bentley's design director Dirk van Braeckel explains:
"With the Continental GTC we set out to achieve a style that is both contemporary and elegant but with the sporting stance of a true performance car.
"We also wanted to ensure that the Continental GTC looks just as beautiful with the roof up as it does when it's down.
"In keeping with the Bentley tradition, the new Continental GTC has a soft fabric roof and heated glass rear screen. When stowed below its hide-covered tonneau, efficient packaging ensures excellent space for both rear passengers and their luggage."
The Continental GTC becomes the second convertible to grace the current Bentley range.
"It follows the recently announced return of the evocative Azure name for Bentley's Arnage-derived flagship four-seater convertible which goes on sale in Spring 2006."
While the Azure offers the ultimate in glamour and sophistication, the Continental GTC is designed for customers looking to enjoy the phenomenal performance, style and excitement of the Continental GT with the additional benefits of classic open-top Bentley motoring.
"The Continental GTC is the third step in our new product and segment strategy," explains Bentley chairman Dr Franz-Josef Paefgen.
"It will again open up the Bentley brand to more customers who only buy convertibles, as well as being a logical next car for our existing owners."
A Bentley SA spokesman said the car was not expected in SA before 2007. He expected pricing would not be much more than the Bentley Continental GT - around R2.8-million.