Hair-raising Z fold drop-top
Euan Johns examines a car that would suit an individual who spends most of their time on the Riviera, the Bentley Continental GT Convertible.
Bentley has been building luxury Grand Tourers since the company was founded in 1919 and, in the marque’s centenary year, the Continental GT Convertible joins a highly acclaimed range. In fact, it’s arguably the strongest and most technologically advanced portfolio of products seen under the umbrella of one luxury brand.
This particular offering has sleek lines and somewhat refined classicism, disguising the fact that the six-litre powerhouse can offer an amazing performance, coupled with an almost silent motoring experience. This remarkable drop-top has the option to be bought with a contemporary tweed fabric roof, suiting a country-loving individual, and provides an improved interior with a snug feel heightened by the vehicle’s quietness.
As we all know, open-tops have a continual battle blocking out the elements and so the silence attained here really is an achievement. If we’re being precise, the Bentley Continental GT Convertible is three decibels quieter than its predecessors, which hardly required earplugs as an optional extra. Tyremaker Pirelli has chipped into the noise reduction stakes with the provision of bespoke tyres utilising noise cancelling technology. The resulting silence hides a top speed of well over 205 mph which places it squarely in the supercar bracket, all two tonnes of it.
Not that you’d need it, but there’s another reason for dropping the top (which takes 19 seconds) on this luxury offering: the interior is sumptuous – the level of which is only regulated by what’s in the purchaser’s wallet. It features the highest quality leathers and sustainably-sourced veneers. The metal finish on the central console is a beautiful addition, inspired by the patterns adorning expensive Swiss timepieces.
The new Continental GT Convertible also showcases major evolutions in Bentley’s unique application of technology, including an advanced, fully digital, driver focused instrument panel and Bentley Rotating Display for the driver. This features an impressive 12.3" touchscreen housed in a three-sided unit, which revolves from pure veneer to reveal either a touchscreen or three elegant analogue dials offering customers the option of a digital detox when desired. The overall finish provides a modern look while paying homage to retro design.
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.
Adrian Hallmark, chairman and chief executive, Bentley Motors
Look at this car side on, or any other angle for that matter, and it’s very easy on the eye, in a classical sense; the lines for this beautiful car being perfected way before PHDs in laminar surface air flows were requisite. It hangs on the romantic designs of yesteryear with an easy elegance that belies its bulk.
The Convertible’s profile is longer and lower than its forebear due to the positioning of the front wheels, 135mm further forward. This has allowed the bonnet to be extended and the nose to be lowered. The key signature power lines of its coupe sibling still dominate, flowing back towards the muscular rear haunches. The lighting on the Continental GT Convertible uses the latest LED Matrix technology, but it is the design of the headlamps that truly sets them apart. Inspired by the finest cut-crystal glasses, the internal surfaces are transparent with sharply defined edges that catch the light like a diamond.
Unmistakeably a Bentley, this third generation Continental GT Convertible retains the elegance and style of its forebears. More sculpted and sharply defined, the all-new body and materials combine to create a truly beautiful car – roof up or down.
But, and there’s always a but, some digital detoxes come at a lower base price than the Continental’s £171,500, but that really isn’t the point. If you want to make a statement at the Monaco Grand Prix in May, then look no further.
essence infoWebsite: www.bentley.co.uk