For most, a Mercedes-AMG S65 Cabriolet is about as plush and opulent as a convertible can get. Nevertheless, Bentley is looking to ensure that it remains the choice of multi-millionaires and is currently developing an all-new generation Continental GTC.
Spied testing on two separate occasions with camouflage and simply a blue and black wrap in the Arctic Circle as well as more recently, on the Nurburgring, the new Bentley Continental GTC appears to be extremely close to celebrating its global premiere.
The convertible uses the same platform architecture as its coupe sibling (also shared with the Porsche Panamera). It will be stiffer yet slightly lighter than the car it replaces, albeit at around 2.3 tonnes, it will remain as one of the heavier proposals in the segment.
From a styling perspective, the car looks exactly the same as the regular Continental GT except for its adoption of a folding softop. With that in mind, it looks considerably sportier and more purposeful than the outgoing model.
W12 will come first followed by a V8
Of more importance is what sits beneath the bodywork. A quick check on the registration shows that both examples seen here are fitted with a 6.0-liter W12 powerhouse. It’s the same twin-turbocharged unit as the hardtop Continental Coupe, producing an identical 626 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. That should result in a 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time of around 4 seconds, with the kind help of the permanent all-wheel drive system.
Also powered by a 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12, the Mercedes-AMG S65 Cabriolet has a slight advantage in grunt. Its horsepower figure sits at 621 hp but torque tops out at an earth-shattering 738 lb-ft.
A 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 from the VW Group’s engine stable is believed to join the range as the base model, while there are some rumors about Bentley pondering the addition of a plug-in hybrid version to the entire Continental series.
In a bid to ensure that the new Continental GTC can steal customers away from Mercedes, the British marque will adorn its cabin with the finest materials available, including a selection of rare and expensive wooden veneers.
*Article updated with new information and spy photos