Tim O'Brien | Sep 14, 2011

Bentley, that maker of burr-walnut and fine hide automotive sledge-hammers, has used the spotlight of Frankfurt to whip the covers off its updated Continental GTC.

Taking subtle styling cues from its GT coupe stablemate, the new Continental GTC adds some visual muscle and bigger beefier 20-inch and optional 21-inch wheels to underscore its sporting intent.

Under the bonnet lurks a powerhouse 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged W12 engine delivering a thumping 423kW and 700Nm of torque.

It's matched to a new ZF 6HP28 'QuickShift' transmission for faster gear changes. And, laying all that torque onto the tarmac is Bentley's advanced all-wheel drive system with a revised 40:60 rear torque-bias (compared with 50:50 of the original GTC).

Should you be inclined to throw its not inconsiderable weight around a mountain road, the rear torque-bias is designed to minimise understeer during hard cornering and - Bentley's words - to allow "the spirited driver to manage the car's line and balance via precise throttle control". So there we have it (something to entertain the fiscally brave).

It also sits on a wider track, front and rear, with sharper steering and retuned suspension settings.

Although a fabric convertible, the new GTCs offers coupe-like refinement with a tailored, multi-layered fabric hood complemented by acoustic glass and sound-isolating under-body panels.

Sumptuously fitted, riotously comfortable, the new model also offers additional rear legroom, touch-screen infotainment, automatic seat-belt presenters and a 'neck-warmer'.

The Bentley Continental GTC is now available to order, first customer deliveries are expected in late 2011.

Seems like you've gotta have one? And how much? Friend, if you have to ask, you can't afford it.

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