Big wheels, big grills, big money. A favorite of professional athletes, investment bankers and rap stars alike, Bentley drivers are often larger than life.
So why did Bentley outfit the base 2013 Continental GTC with a significantly smaller engine -- a 4.0L V8 to be exact, down from a 6.0L W12? Did Bentley seriously just downgrade a $200,000 vehicle?
In today's world, bigger is no longer necessarily better. In fact, automakers have been downsizing engines for the past couple of years, especially with their larger, more luxurious cars. In the face of more stringent fuel economy guidelines and more eco-conscious consumers -- even in the 1% -- smaller engines have become the norm on flagship vehicles.
The name of game is no longer horsepower but MPG.
The 2013 Continental GTC is a 2-door exotic convertible, which now comes standard with this new twin-turbo V8, as well as almost every luxury feature currently known to mankind. The GTC's ultimate mission is to provide the driver with a lavish interior, smooth and supple ride, statement-making looks and power under the hood.
Basically, drivers want the world to know they are driving a car worth more than most Americans spend on their homes.
So now that it comes with a much smaller base engine, does the car still have the "go big or go home" feel? I drove the GTC for a week to find out. Here's what I liked -- and didn't -- about the exotic droptop.