Review: Bentley Continental GTC (2011 – 2018)
Sharper and more aggressive styling. 20-inch wheels as standard. Huge performance from 6.0-litre W12 engine. More economical V8 available.
Very thirsty. Expensive to buy and to run.
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Bentley Continental GTC (2011 – 2018): At A Glance
- New prices start from £235,925
- Insurance Group 50
- On average it achieves 96% of the official MPG figure
Following the new Bentley Continental GT Coupe launched in 2010, Bentley launched the GTC. Deliveries started in late 2011, with prices from £149,350. The new GTC is bolder and more aggressive than the old model, with sharper angles and larger wheels – 20 inches as standard with 21 inch wheels available as an option. The rear takes styling cues from the Mulsanne, while the front end gets ‘jewelled’ headlights with LED running lights.
The interior is more spacious than that of the outgoing model, with more rear legroom and more storage space. There are 17 different colours available for the leather upholstery, as well as seven different wood veneers. A touchscreen infotainment system is fitted, and includes Google Maps based sat nav, as well as 30GB of media storage. There’s also a neck warming heater, so occupants can enjoy roof down driving in colder weather.
Power comes from a 575PS 6.0-litre W12 engine with QuickShift gearbox, and there’s an incredible 700Nm of torque. That means 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 195mph, despite a kerb weight of 2,495kg. That performance comes at a price, though – fuel efficiencyon the combined cycle is a measly 17.1mpg, with CO2 emissionsof 384g/km.
In 2012 Bentley launched the new 'entry-level' model in its Continental GTC range - the GTC V8. Powered by a 4.0-litre engine with 507PS it will sit alongside the W12 and Supersports models and is priced at £136,250.
That's more than £13,000 cheaper than the standard GTC W12 yet it still offers all the performance you'd expect from a Bentley with an effortless 0-62mph time of 5.0 seconds and a top speed of 187mph should you decide to take it onto the Autobahn.
The V8 has a maximum torque figure of 660Nm which is available across the rev range from 1700rpm to 5000rpm and it is fitted with a new close ratio eight-speed automatic gearbox. It's economical for a Bentley too with claimed average fual consumption at 25.9mpg. The W12 GTC averages just 17.1mpg. Emissions are considerably lower too at 254g/km of CO2 compared to 384g/km in the W12.
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Buy a used Bentley Continental GTC from £91,950
Bentley Continental GTC (2011 – 2018): What's It Like Inside?
- Boot space is 210–260 litres
While other manufacturers may talk about luxury and sophstication, the Bentley is the real deal. There's an understated class running through everything and while this is far from being anything other than an expensive car, you can certainly see the uncompromising focus on quality that Bentley people talk about. The convertible roof is a perfect example. It's not the quickest around, taking 25 seconds to fold down (although it does at least work at up to 20mph) but the three-layer design is supremely insulated, so much so that with it up, the GTC feels just like a coupe. So you get the benefits of a metal roof without the weight and bulk.
The rest of the interior continues where the old model left off. Nothing is hugely different, but Bentley has improved pretty much every aspect in some way or another. Traditional elements, like the metal pull switches for the vents, remain, while there are new features such as the clever 'Neck Warmer’ - an air-flow system with three power settings which keeps your neck warm if it turns a bit nippy with the roof down. Mercedes-Benz has something similar on the SLK.
The seats are better too with new multi-layer foams and, for the first time on a GTC, an optional front seat ventilation system with a pneumatic massage function. This GTC also has a longer wheelbase so there's more room for passengers in the back.
You can really go to town with the personalisation too. There's a choice of 17 standard soft-touch leather hide colours with six colour split combinations, complemented by a range of seven veneers, all handcrafted in Bentley’s workshops at its factory in Crewe. It may look traditional but this Bentley is bang up to date with technology including its sat nav system with an eight-inch touchscreen that's Google Maps-compatible and a 30GB hard drive for storing music.
Child seats that fit a Bentley Continental GTC (2011 – 2018)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Bentley Continental GTC (2011 – 2018) like to drive?
The real highlight of any Bentley is the engine. And this GTC certainly doesn't disappoint. The 6.0-litre W12 unit has been carried over from the previous GT range but has been uprated to produce even more power. It now develops 575PS along with a monstrous 700Nm of torque, up 50Nm from before, so the performance is as rapid as you'd expect. There's no mucking about here, this Bentley is swift, with 0-60mph taking just 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 195mph, should you need it.
It's a real beast of an engine and sounds lovely on start-up thanks to those huge dual oval exhaust pipes. Like the rest of the GTC it's incredibly refined and smooth - this is not an engine that needs to be revved or stressed, instead you can let that famous Bentley ‘wave of torque' propel you along. It's amazingly effortless and the GTC builds speed so quickly it's easy to touch triple figures without even trying.
It's as thirsty as you'd expect though, with a claimed average of just 17.1mpg. During its week with us, our test car averaged around 16mpg covering around 700 miles so at least the official figures aren't pie in the sky. And with a huge 90-litre fuel tank you don't have to fill up as often as you'd think, although it's usually an eye-watering total.
But is there more to this Bentley than just a lot of leather and a big engine? Well at knocking on 2.5 tonnes it's no bantamweight and you're always aware that this is a big car but it still handles very tidily, helped by what Bentley claims is the stiffest convertible body in the world. The GTC also has a wider track and revamped steering, so it feels more responsive when you first turn into a corner.
As well as all-wheel drive the GTC has Continuous Damping Control which is designed to minimise body roll and can be altered on the touchscreen between comfort and sport modes. But the GTC is no sports car, nor does it pretend to be. It's a grand tourer that's designed for covering long distances quickly and in comfort. The ride is every bit as smooth as you'd expect, it's incredible reassuring at high speeds and just wonderfully easy to drive.
So what about the negatives? Well the paddle shifts are fixed to the steering column rather than the wheel. Not only are they more awkward to use but they look messy. The changes could be quicker too as there's a delay between pulling the gear change lever and it actually responding. The good news is that Bentley is now fitting a new ZF eight-speed gearbox to replace the six-speed automatic.
|Speed||19–19 mpg||4.1–4.3 s||347 g/km|
|V8||26 mpg||4.7–5.0 s||254 g/km|
|V8 S||25–26 mpg||4.5–4.7 s||254–258 g/km|
|W12||17–20 mpg||3.9–4.7 s||330–362 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Bentley Continental GTC (2011 – 2018)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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