Bentley recently introduced the all-new Continental GT Convertible. Designed, engineered and handcrafted in Britain. The tailored convertible roof can be deployed or stowed in just 19 seconds, with the car traveling at speeds of up to 50 km/h. This transforms the Continental GT Convertible from a luxurious coupe into an open-top Grand Tourer at the touch of a button. Seven different fabric hood colors are available, including an authentic tweed finish for the first time. A newly designed neckwarmer (which is both warmer and quieter than in the previous generation model), is seamlessly integrated into the heated Comfort Seats, optimizing efficiency and airflow around the electrically adjustable headrests. The styling highlight of the new neckwarmer is a chrome center vane that stretches the full width of the duct, echoing Bentley’s famous ‘bullseye’ vents. Combined with a heated steering wheel, seat heaters and new heated armrests, these sophisticated comfort features create a luxurious driving experience in all environments, especially on sunny spring and winter mornings.
The all-new Continental GT Convertible heightens the sensory experience of open-air motoring with exhilarating performance. A powerful 6.0-liter Bentley W12 engine is mated to a dual-clutch eight-speed transmission. The new powertrain uses the latest engine management technology to produce 635 hp and 900 Nm of torque, and accelerate to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds, on to a top speed of 333 km/h.
A choice of three audio systems is offered in the new Continental GT Convertible. The standard system features 10 speakers and 650 Watts, while a Bang & Olufsen 1,500 W, 16-speaker system with illuminated speaker grilles is available, benefiting from the first automotive application of the BeoSonic system – a new way for tone setting with a simple, intuitive one-touch user interface. A Naim 2,200 W, 18-speaker system with Active Bass Transducers built into the front seats and eight sound modes is offered for the true audiophile.
Behind the wheel, the technological advancements in the new Continental GT Convertible continue. The driver-orientated instrument panel is fully digital and can be personalized by the driver. The Bentley Rotating Display offers the choice between a digital or analog journey. At first glance, there appears to be no screen in the center of the dashboard. Instead, the veneer flows uninterrupted across the dashboard, while a thin chrome bezel behind the steering wheel surrounds a digital instrument display. When the engine start button is pressed, however, the veneer in the middle of the dashboard glides silently forward and rotates to reveal Bentley’s largest-ever touchscreen, a 12.3” high-definition-quality digital MMI display, elegantly designed by Bentley with a customer-configurable home screen with three windows able to display the driver’s preferred functions, for example, navigation, media and telephone. The user interface is designed to be akin to a modern mobile phone and menus are structured to be instantly intuitive. The third side on the Bentley Rotating Display reveals three elegant analog dials displaying outside temperature, a compass and a chronometer. Such an innovative use of traditional elements underscores Bentley’s unique commitment to the past and the future and offers customers the choice of digital or analog display or clean, calm cabin.
Two technology option packs are offered at launch: City Specification for urban journeys and the Touring Specification for long-distance driving, both curated to optimize the customer experience. City Specification includes hands-free boot opening, pedestrian warning, traffic-sign recognition and city braking systems as well as a top-view camera. The Touring Specification pack, meanwhile, offers adaptive cruise control with traffic-jam assist, active lane assist, a heads-up display, night vision with an infrared camera, and pre-sense braking. The Mulliner Driving Specification adds a more sporting look to the car with 22” lightweight forged alloy wheels, unique ‘diamond in diamond’ quilting, embroidered Bentley emblems, additional veneer options, a jeweled-finish fuel filler, sports pedals, and indented leather headliner. Customers can also choose personalized stitching in the front and rear of the car as well as personalized treadplates. As with all Bentleys, the Continental GT Convertible can also be handed over to the highly skilled and dedicated craftspeople at Mulliner, Bentley’s personal commissioning division, who will respond to bespoke customer requirements.
The third generation of Continental GT Convertible features Bentley Dynamic Ride, an advanced 48-volt roll control system for car control. The system controls and adjusts the electronic actuators on the anti-roll bar of each axle and so improves handling and ride comfort, as well as making the car feel lighter and more precise. This system instantly counteracts lateral rolling forces when cornering and ensures maximum tire-to-road contact to deliver class-leading ride comfort and exceptional handling. While conventional anti-roll bars present a compromise between body control and ride comfort, Bentley’s active system provides variable torsional resistance, allowing the Continental GT Convertible to be both dynamically capable and comfortable for all occupants at all times. The use of a 48-volt system results in silent, instantaneous responses and sufficient power on hand to deal with all road surfaces. Through Bentley’s Drive Dynamics Control different modes can be selected: Comfort mode, Bentley mode or Sport mode; the suspension, engine, gearbox and other chassis systems will modify to match the selected drive mode. Alternatively, the driver can personalize his or her own dynamic settings. As a foundation for this impressive handling, the Continental GT Convertible boasts a body-in-white structure that manages to be both stiffer and lighter than its predecessor. This five percent improvement in torsional rigidity and 20 percent reduction in structural weight are achievable thanks to the intelligent utilization of aluminum and high-tensile steel in the platform.
The braking system is the most powerful iron system ever fitted to a Bentley, with a total of 28 pistons. Front brake discs measuring 420 mm are a two-piece construction utilizing a cast-iron friction ring and aluminum mounting bell. Front calipers feature ten pistons each, while rear calipers contain four pistons each that clamp 380 mm single-piece discs. Bentley has worked together with Pirelli to create bespoke tires for the new Continental GT Convertible right from the very beginning of the design phase. The car runs exclusively on Pirelli P Zero tires, using a different tire size between the front and rear axles for the first time, to enhance dynamic ability.