Bentley may have deferred to another member of the Volkswagen family to source the GTC's V8 hardware, but in terms of interior ambience it has no peer. Partly this is because of the kind of deep-seated heritage and expertise that only ancient British marques espouse, but mostly it's because a cumbersome brief is accomplished without conspicuous effort. Looking at the GTC's innards, one would think that opulence and broad-shouldered athleticism go naturally hand in hand. They do not. It's only a sure hand, clever broad strokes, superb finish and timeless material choices that prevent the convertible from dissolving into an ungainly mess.

As with the exterior, subtle alterations have been made to distinguish the V8 car. A new veneer, Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus (a name certainly worth repeating), features heavily on the fascia and trim, offset by the textured metallic finish of the dashboard and switchgear. Elsewhere, soft-touch leather abounds - offered in a choice of eight single-tone colours - apart from the headlining, which is now finished in Elidae cloth. The fully automated, four-layer hood is also available in eight colours and it does its job impeccably. At idle, the GTC recorded a reverential 42db, but it is not so insulated that the finer points of the eight-cylinder soundtrack fail to register at a glorious 79db high.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Editor-at-large
Retaining the big shift lever is a conscious decision - most GTs have have diddy buttons

Of course, the best way to experience it is with the roof lowered. The GTC looks, sounds and scintillates better with wind added. Choose the right options, and it is viable in a remarkably wide range of ambient temperatures. Naturally, the seats are heated as standard, but in March the added neck warmer will convince you to stay out in the open, and in August the seat back ventilation will negate a return to the shade.

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Unsurprisingly, the satellite navigation is inherited from Volkswagen, and although that may be a credibility handicap, its functionally is largely beyond reproach. The GTC shares many of the features one would find in a top-of-the-line Volkswagen and comes equipped with sat nav and 15GB of storage. A television tuner can be selected from the options list if you wish, while the standard stereo has sufficient guts to be heard above the wind. However, it takes quite some time to get bored of the sound emanating from under the bonnet.

 

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