Some brands are synonymous with performance and nobility. Probably because of their royal affinities, English cars have this aristocratic aura that clearly sets them apart from the mass of lowly people's cars.
What may seem like a very haughty statement is in fact the result of a few days' worth of testing the all-new 2007 Bentley Continental GTC, the world's fastest convertible.
Very few automobiles are as charming and as head-turning as this one. Truth be told, the stately figure and commanding presence of the Continental GTC force others to pay special attention. After all, when this massive grille with distinctive "B" logo appears in your rearview mirror, you can't help but to marvel in awe.
Even at idle, the extravagant size of the big Bentley is impressive. In convertible trim and with the canvas roof neatly deployed, it sure is slightly more discreet. But when the roof is tucked away, forget about subtlety: the Continental GTC throws itself at you, no matter what angle you admire it from -- especially in that steel blue coat (officially, Silverlake).
The irresistible charm of the Bentley Continental GTC doesn't end when you open the doors. Actually, life inside is all about luxury and opulence. Ultra high-quality materials and flawless fit and finish are obviously on the menu. There's leather everywhere, including on the dashboard, which creates a modern, classy environment and emphasizes said dash. Sophistication is such that the centre stack features a Breitling watch, a supreme icon of British aristocracy.
However, high class does not necessarily mean high functionality. Some of the controls, like those of the satellite-based navigation system, almost require an Oxford or Cambridge degree to be fully mastered from the start.
As for interior comfort, front passengers have absolutely no reason to complain. They benefit from nicely supportive seats with seemingly endless adjustments that make it very simple to find a great driving position. On the other hand, rear occupants will have to make sacrifices during long drives because the room is limited and the seats are less than comfortable. This is true regardless if the roof is up or down. The interior offers premium noise insulation thanks to double laminated side windows that neutralize excess noise.
Auto journalist & Consumer Ratings
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