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2014 Bentley Continental GTC V8 Quick Take

By Richard Homan on February 17, 2014 9:28 AM
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One thing we know: The greats come with their own soundtracks. The 2014 Bentley Continental GTC convertible is one of the greats, at least that's what the music says.

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There's a cymbal-tapping cool to the muscular, low-slung crouching pose that the GTC strikes. As you swing the so-massive door open, the orchestra in your head sits primed for something good to happen. And as you drop into the stitched baroque-leather garden of the Bentley interior, you can start to feel the music. Even the adjustment rods for the dash vents look like organ stops.

Too much? Not nearly. Even though a rear-view camera is not standard equipment, the $198,925 Bentley Continental GTC -- yup, it almost costs more than your house -- will spoil you. Not just the leather, the wood, and in the case of our test car, the carbon fiber, but the sheer presence of the Bentley. The substance.

It weighs and weighs and weighs, and that two-and-a-half tons is with you everywhere you drive. Fortunately, a twin-turbocharged V8 applies 500 horsepower and unearthly amounts of accelerating torque to all four of the GTC's 21-inch wheels via an elegant, crisp-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission. The effect is exhilarating, operatic, just the way Bentley planned. Overbuilding the brakes was also part of the plan, so as Henry-the-VIII heavy as the Continental GTC is, its stopping power is an expression of confidence, rather than concern. A cockpit-adjustable suspension setup allows you to tighten things up, but in truth, the Bentley's heft never feels like it's catching up with itself when you change its direction.

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One final music-themed point: Bentley has hired a choir of angels to sing every time you drop the convertible electric soft-top on the 2014 Bentley Continental GTC . They sing, and the sky greets you, and you feel like you've earned it. Exactly as it ought to be in a Bentley.

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