Bentley has just pulled the sheet off its new Continental GT Convertible, the open-roofed version of the all-new Continental GT Coupe which debuted a few months back, and the brand is doubling down on its signature brand of bespoke British luxury.
That means a “tailored” retractable roof that can be ordered in a “contemporary interpretation” of authentic Scottish tweed, as well as the ability to enjoy open-topped motoring even in lousy weather, the most British thing of all.
Like the coupe it runs on the 6.0 litre W12 power plant that Bentley calls “the most advanced 12-cylinder engine in the world”, delivering 626 hp and 664 lb.-ft. of torque capable of blasting it from 0-60 in 3.7 seconds with a top speed of 207 mph.
The tweed roof (or plain cloth if you lack imagination) sweeps open in 19 seconds, and Bentley has done its utmost to ensure that’s where it’ll stay. That’s thanks to a powerful, newly-designed neck warmer integrated into the heated seats as well as a heated steering wheel and even heated armrests, so you can cruise with the top down all winter long while the other poor bastards are shivering in their Subarus.
For good measure the seats have a heated massage setting as well, while a new active all-wheel drive system and bespoke Pirelli P Zero tires keep you on the road even if it’s covered in black ice.
Exterior-wise it echoes the “muscular, sculptural” lines of the coupe, itself based on the EXP10 Speed 6 Concept, and is considerably longer and lower than the previous generation convertible. It also borrows the coupe’s “cut crystal” head and taillight design made to look like illuminated gems.
Inside you’ll find Bentley’s new Rotating Display – or rather, you won’t until the Engine Start button is pressed causing a dashboard panel to retract revealing either a 12.3” touchscreen or a gentlemanly array of three analog gauges. This last Bentley is positing as a form of “digital detox.”
There’s another echo of this in the optional center console with an aluminum finish inspired by the Côtes de Genève decorative pattern found inside the movements of fine mechanical Swiss wristwatches.
The interior is of course awash in wool, leather and wood, with 15 different carpet and leather options and eight different wood veneers, including Hawaiian Koa and Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus, along with four dual-veneer combos if you can’t choose just one.
It takes over 100 square feet of wood and many hours of handwork to finish this Savile Row suit on wheels.
All of which makes Bentley’s insistence on calling the $236,000 open-topped grand tourer “understated” a bit of a laugh. It may have a posh British accent, but it’s still shouting “look at me!”