Bentley continues to perfect the art of top-down, wind-in-your-hair grand touring with the unveiling of its third-generation Continental GT Convertible. Developed from the restyled and reengineered GT coupé, this sublime drop-top features a roof that can open up in just 19 seconds, even while the car glides along at 30 mph.
New roof-insulating materials, along with advances in sealing techniques, mean that with the top raised, the convertible’s cabin is three decibels quieter than the last version. Now it’s said to be as quiet as the last generation GT coupé.
Buyers will be able to take their pick from no fewer than seven colors for the new top. And for the first time, there’s the option of a new and oh-so-British tweed cloth for the roof.
Bentley designers have also made sure that the new four-seat Continental GT Convertible can be enjoyed year-round, equipping its front seats with redesigned neck warmers that blow hotter and quieter than before. Add to that the heated center armrest, heated steering wheel, and heated seats.
As with the new GT coupé, the GT Convertible features Bentley’s mighty 626 hp 6-liter twin-turbo W12 engine mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission channeling power to all four wheels. Shaving the weight of the convertible’s body shell by 20 percent sharpens the car’s performance, delivering ferociously fast zero-to-60-mph sprinting in just 3.7 seconds. Top speed is a hair-raising (literally) 207 mph.
Folding the GT Convertible’s roof is all the better for seeing the car’s exquisite new interior, which, in usual Bentley fashion, is only limited in its level of bespoke customization by the girth of your pocketbook.
One stunning new option is the metal finish for the center console. Inspired by the Côtes de Genève pattern that adorns the surfaces of many high-end Swiss timepieces, the finish is achieved via horizontal machining of the aluminum, which yields a retro, three-dimensional look.
The retro theme continues with the rotating dashboard display that’s carried over from the new coupe. On one side of the central panel is Bentley’s high-tech, 12.3-inch touchscreen. At the touch of a button, the veneer panel revolves to reveal a trio of elegant analog dials to show outside temperature, a compass, and a clock. Bentley says it provides the driver with a “digital detox.”
There’s no firm word on when the 2019 Continental GT Convertible might appear in the United States—buyers are still waiting for deliveries of the new coupe. Expect pricing for this 12-cylinder masterpiece to start around $240,000.