Bentley lifts lid on beautiful Continental GT

04 December 2018

WHAT may be the most desirable convertible car in the world is revealed in the head-turning guise of the beautiful British-built Bentley Continental GT Convertible.

The stylish newcomer is based on the recently-introduced £160,000 coupe but loses its tin roof in favour of an elegantly-tailored rag top that opens up to the elements in just 19 seconds.

The car itself is no slouch either, with acceleration to 60mph in 3.7 seconds and a top speed just shy of 210mph.

That sounds like a recipe for the perfect storm as far as wind-in-the-hair motoring is concerned, but Bentley has managed to overcome it.

The roof comes with an optional posh new tweed fabric and can be raised or lowered at speeds of up to 30mph.

There is a new neck warmer that is more powerful yet quieter than its predecessor, plus a heated steering wheel, heated seats, and even heated arm rests.

Bentley says that its British designers and engineers have even managed to make the Convertible as quiet with the roof up as the previous hard-top coupe, thanks to a noise reduction of three decibels.

This is despite prodigious performance from the growling six-litre 12 cylinder engine, which is mated to a dual-clutch eight-speed transmission, achieving average economy (should the buyer be interested) of 20mpg with a CO2 rating of 284g/km.

Power is 625bhp, with a figure for torque, or pulling power, of a whopping 900Nm.

Among the impressively innovative interior technical enhancements are a fully digital, driver-focused instrument panel and Bentley Rotating Display.

This features a 12.3-inch touchscreen housed in a three-sided unit, which revolves from pure veneer to reveal either a touchscreen or three elegant analogue dials.

Externally the car is even longer and lower than its predecessor, with a longer bonnet and lower nose.

As if the striking front end was not sufficiently eye-catching, there are cut-glass headlamp reflectors that refract the light like diamonds and are replicated within the rear lamp clusters too.

If customers find the standard 21-inch wheels a tad understated, there are optional ten-spoke 22-inch alloys offered as an alternative, which come with a further choice of a trio of designs in a selection of ten polished and painted finishes.

The interior is a mobile monument of traditional quintessentially English craftsmanship using ten square metres of rare, sustainably sourced veneers, such as koa and dark fiddleback eucalyptus, including a polished wooden steering wheel.

A choice of three audio systems is offered, starting with the standard kit using ten speakers and 650 Watts, while a Bang & Olufsen 1,500-Watts, 16-speaker system with illuminated speaker grilles is also available.

However, purists will appreciate the range-topping Naim 2,200-Watts, 18-speaker system with Active Bass Transducers built into the front seats and eight separate sound modes.

When the Convertible goes on sale here in spring it will be offered in 6.0-litre V12 form only, with a price tag in the region of £175,100 but for those just a little short of dosh there will be a less expensive V8 version in due course.