The brand-new Bentley Continental GT Convertible combines elegance and power to give the driver an exhilarating open-air driving experience. Bentley’s third generation new Grand Tourer has been designed and engineered here in Britain and is the height of luxury motoring.
Adrian Hallmark, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley Motors, says: “Elegant understatement that forces you to look; engineering excellence you’ll take for granted – the extraordinary breadth of capabilities offered by the new Continental GT Convertible is unique and can only be offered by our noble British brand.”
“We have been building luxury Grand Tourers since the company was founded in 1919 and, as we approach our centenary year, the Continental GT Convertible joins a highly acclaimed range – arguably the strongest and most technologically advanced portfolio of products the world has ever seen in one luxury brand.”
The car’s interior is exquisite to say the least, using the highest quality leathers on the seats and sustainably sourced veneers. Even the convertible roof, available in seven different fabric colours or a tweed finish, is an engineering marvel, taking just 19 seconds to be raised or folded away, and that’s at speeds of up to 30 mph.
And on those colder days when you want to have the roof down, the newly designed neck warmers, heated seats and heated steering wheel, will keep you warm and snug. It would seem Bentley have thought of everything!
Comfortable as the car is, it’s also immensely powerful, taking a mind-blowing 3.7 seconds to reach 60 mph. This is achieved by the huge 6.0-litre Bentley W12 engine which is attached to a dual-clutch eight-speed transmission. As a result, the Bentley Continental GT thumps out a staggering 626 bhp and 900 Nm of torque and can reach a top speed of 207 mph (333 km/h). That is saying quite something from such a large heavy car.
The Bentley’s 6.0-litre, W12 TSI engine has been designed, developed and hand built in Crewe, and is the most advanced 12-cylinder engine in the world. It uses the very latest engine management technology, with 300 million software calculations per second.
The new engine comes with Start-Stop technology and rests not only when the vehicle is stationary but also at near-to-stop speeds. Bentley’s Variable Displacement system shuts down half of the engine under defined conditions. Intake and exhaust valves, fuel injection and ignition are all shut down on defined cylinders, with the engine running as a six-cylinder for improved efficiency.
The new Continental GT Convertible also has a new Active All-Wheel-Drive System that replaces the traditional 40:60 power delivery split between front and rear wheels and will vary the front-to-rear torque split depending upon the driving situation and conditions.
The new Continental GT is also bristling with technology to keep those of you who like your gadgets happy. There is a fully digital driver-focused instrument panel and Bentley Rotating Display. You can also play with the 12.3” touchscreen which is tucked away in the dash in a three-sided unit that revolves from the pure veneer to also reveal three elegant and more traditional analogue dials.
As for the Bentley Continental’s looks, well it is more sculpted and defined now, with muscular rear haunches and stamps a greater presence on the road and is a car you don’t want to mess with. Any young pretenders wanting to show off at the traffic lights, will be mightily disappointed at the W12’s punch.
Night-time driving is much more illuminating thanks to the latest LED Matrix technology. But as well as being powerful headlights, the headlamps themselves have been designed to look like cut-crystal with transparent surfaces and sharply defined edges to give that diamond effect when light catches the edges. The car’s taillights also have the same cut-crystal effect design.
The Continental GT Convertible is shod with 21” Five Tri-Spoke wheels with a choice of ten polished and painted finishes to try to suit all tastes. They also offer a 10-Spoke and 22” Five Open-Spoke wheel option.
Choosing your car’s colour is very much down to personal preference and fortunately Bentley gives you the choice of 17 standard colours as well as an extended range of colours to indulge you. These can all be combined to go with the seven exterior roof colours and eight interior hood lining colours. You also have a choice of interiors including a polished wooden steering wheel. With over 10 square metres of wood used in every new car, you’ll just love the stylish dashboard that is shaped like the Bentley badge.
The Comfort Seats are more than just car seats, they adjust 20 ways and offer not only a heating function, but they will even massage your back, no seriously. The Continental GT Convertible is also kitted out as standard with a 10 speaker, 560 Watt system but you can opt for a superb Bang & Olufsen 1,500 Watt, 16-Speaker system should you so wish. The car also comes equipped with Apple CarPlay, and the smartest and quickest way to integrate the functionality of Apple devices is connected via a USB port.
The Continental GT Convertible is agile and handles like a car half its weight, thanks to the Bentley Dynamic Ride, which is an advanced 48-volt roll control system for unrivalled car control. The system controls and adjusts the electronic actuators on the anti-roll bar of each axle to improve handling and ride comfort, as well as making the car feel lighter and more precise for the driver. You can select Comfort or Sport mode at the touch of a button which will change the characteristics of not only the suspension but also the engine and gearbox.
As you would expect with a car of this size and power, Bentley have uprated the braking system, which is the most powerful iron system ever fitted to a Bentley with a total of 28 pistons to bring you to a stop. The front brake discs are a massive 420mm whilst the rear single-piece discs are an equally impressive 380 mm in size.
Bentley have worked tirelessly with Pirelli to produce a P Zero tyre that provides the car with the performance it needs along with a degree of comfort you’d expect from a Grand Tourer. They have even come up with a clever Pirelli Noise Cancelling System which reduces road noise coming into the cabin.
Those clever people at Bentley really have thought of everything in this beautiful handcrafted third generation Continental GT Convertible that’s finished and fits the customer like a finely tailored suit. Prices start from £175,000 with the first cars being available from next spring. For more information please visit www.bentleymotors.com
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man Behind The Wheel and Editor-in-Chief of Our Man On The Ground Travel and Lifestyle Magazine.
Photographs courtesy of Bentley Motors