My Car Quest

July 20, 2024

The New 2019 Bentley GTC – A Design Critique

by Wallace Wyss –

OK, I was invited to a Bentley dealer showing but didn’t go because it wouldn’t involve driving and what’s a Bentley 12-cylinder convertible for if not for driving?

Anyway judging on the pictures, they did not have one at the Los Angeles Auto Show, I have these opinions.

General shape the same but somehow it is more apparent now that it echoes the current Chevrolet Camaro convertible.


Bentley GTC

There’s an insert leading up to the vent but still is lame

Like those luxury cars with a chrome band around the cockpit like Mercedes convertible. A little heavy looking in the nose but the big sin is that the rear fender says KARMANN GHIA as much as if it was written on the side. Sure the fender has sharp edges but I could do that to a Karmann Ghia with a little bondo and bread knife in half an hour. Seems to be a distinguished motor car needs its own fender shapes. I’m just sayin’…oh, and that chrome spear along the side that ends its job by being the vent surround, it seems lame to have to tie the spear to the vent, culminating in such an awkward way but I guess if they didn’t have it, it would look even more Karmann Ghia. At least they have a concave groove leading away from the vent as if to give the exhausted air some path to go to.

Bentley GTC


Bentley GTC

Air intake vents big enough for bizjet

I have to see those headlights in person. They look mysterious and magical and I wonder how much light they put out as some “modern” lamps are weaker than the old sealed beams. Or do they put out too much light on high beam? I presume that there’s a half way switch where they are lit but not brightly shining for in city driving.

Grille is nice and aggressive, love that chain-link-fence-in-miniature look, like chain mail armor. The front air intakes seem disproportionately large, like suitable for a fighter plane. They were more subtle on the show car prototype, the EXP12.


Bentley GTC

Elliptical taillights. Interesting but I would have rather they brought back Bentley S1, S2 & SIII vertical lamps built into the fenders but these aren’t bad, though reminiscent of many other cars already on the road. Better than the Rolls Dawn, whose taillights remind me of some Oldsmobile of distant memory.


Bentley GTC

The wood is great but not enough of it

Upgraded, still the diamond tufting. A better dash display, where three clock-styled Old Skool gauges come into view when the electronic screen is hidden.

Bentley GTC

With screen showing and more wood


There is also an option for 2020 called the GT Speed which brings blacked out chrome trim, a bigger splitter in front, a larger rear spoiler and new wheels. I think the whole concept of blacking out chrome has been overdone, filtered down to very cheap cars and looks lame in this time. The original blacking out I remember came during the Vietnam war when photographers asked camera makers to supply their camera bodies in non glare black so as to not draw fire from snipers. Why you need blacked out chrome on a car is nonsensical. Chrome is to celebrate a car’s shape, making it black denies its ability to highlight a car’s shape.

Chevrolet Camaro

2019 Chevrolet Camaro


The car is built to fit the needs of an audience of those who want a sporting luxury car. But it needs an extra measure of distinctive styling to really distinguish itself from any other car. I would say that, in my humble opinion, the Lexus LC500 shows that huge degree of separation from the ordinary Lexus cars needed to set itself far above them but this new Bentley doesn’t separate itself enough from what’s available at half to a third of the price.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Author and fine artist Wallace Wyss is the author of 18 books and has produced over 100 paintings. He has been a guest lecturer on design history at the Art Center college of Design.




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The New 2019 Bentley GTC - A Design Critique
Article Name
The New 2019 Bentley GTC - A Design Critique
I was invited to a Bentley dealer showing but didn’t go because it wouldn’t involve driving and what’s a Bentley 12-cylinder convertible for if not for driving?


  1. Piero Jacometti says

      as an artist I appreciate it a lot, much less when it compares Bentley to a Camaro, too much difference in many respects, but everyone is free to define his choices and his ideas, which is almost always appreciated.
    It is understood that he does not like this type of machine and his criticism, in some cases, fits me a bit too “personal” using a reverent expression.
    Anyway congratulations always for his articles and his works, good day.

  2. Wayne Watkins says

    Really just an expensive VW

  3. Raymond Zinn says

    Should just bring back the Continental.

  4. Philip Sarris says

    Wallace, I doubt you will see another Bentley dealer invitation after those remarks, haha.

    I’m wondering, do the folks that have that kind of money to purchase an expensive Bentley are really concerned about the fine art of automotive design, or, purchase for the expected high quality interiors and status, mostly?

  5. Michael von Aretin says

    I wonder why nobody mentions those rear lights. When this was the critics opinion with the 60ies Ford Edsel’s front, this was the final shot to this car. As a designer the most disturbing thing on the newer Bentleys in the appearance of the oval shape. That’s just so cheap and simple like these thousands of swash shaped logos in the industry’s world. F.e. Infinion. Just unprofessional.

  6. wallace wyss says

    I think they buy it to impress other people, and for the fine quality interiors. Plus opportunity to spec a bespoke interior to your own taste. But undoubtedly some of the customers appreciate good design and I wouldn’t be surprised if the owner of a new GTC lives in a custom designed home,not a tract house, and wears some tailor made clothes, indeed it becomes an all consuming passion with some people to buy things individually made to their taste.

  7. Richard Bartholomew says

    It looks better than the Jag rag top.

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