If you want to drive a car with a fold-down roof, the Bentley Continental GT Convertible is among the best of the best!
Private jets, luxury yachts and cars like the new Bentley Continental GT Convertible are not for everyone. But it’s not fair to blame our environmental problems on the people who can afford to buy and use these modes of transportation. In many cases, these cars, boats and aircrafts are what drives technology forward. One example is the engine of the new Bentley Continental GT, which, despite 12 cylinders and dual turbochargers, has seen a 16% decrease in carbon dioxide emissions compared to its predecessor. This new technology is always found in the most expensive and lavish car models but trickles down to the cheaper models over time.
Bentley is celebrating centenary this year, and what better way to do it than releasing a fantastic roofless creation like the Continental GT Convertible. The brand was founded in 1919 by Walter Owen Bentley, an engineer who originally studied to be a steam locomotive designer. Something their competitors were quick to point out because of the large and robust nature of Bentley cars. In the 1920s, Bentley asserted their dominance with no fewer than five victories in the classic 24-hour race at Le Mans. In 1931, Bentley was bought by Rolls-Royce and moved to Derby, later Crewe. Since 1998, the brand has been owned by Volkswagen AG. The name Continental has been used since 1952.
The heart of the new Bentley Continental GT Convertible is a W12 engine totaling 626 horses. The W simply means that two V6 engines have been intertwined into a 12-cylinder W engine. The total cylinder volume is six liters and thanks to the dual turbochargers, the Continental GT Convertible does 0-100 in only 3.7 seconds. Considering the weight of over two tons, this is quite an impressive number. Despite the powerful torque of 900 nm, the 8-step dual transmission manages to get all of the power to the wheels and into the ground.
Even though there is another car brand in the same class as Bentley who named one of their latest models after a gemstone, comparing the new Continental GT Convertible to a jewel on wheels is not a stretch. Just take a look at the headlights that look like they are made of actual crystals. You can see an incredibly beautiful and glittering effect through them, even in daylight, and the blue paint job has a wonderful glow in the morning light.
“In the 1920s, Bentley asserted their dominance with five victories in the classic 24-hour race at Le Mans”
The doors are stepless, which is something Aston Martin were the first to introduce. This means you get to decide the angle of the door, instead of relying on the default modes of a regular car. When you get in the new Continental GT Convertible and close the door, it's like the outside world stops and your senses open up to a new dimension. Everything is perfect; the immense feeling of quality is far beyond average.
Every detail so well made, like all the knobs made of milled metal. Just touching and feeling them instills respect for the craftsmanship that has gone into the Continental GT Convertible. If you are not used to this type of craftsmanship, which people generally are not, you’ll find yourself zoning out, just sitting there soaking it all in. But if you do manage to break the spell and do what you are supposed to, which is actually starting the car and driving, the next dimension will open up and the real experience can begin.
The key is big, just like the car, but it obviously stays in your pocket or handbag as you start the car with a push of a button. The twelve cylinders are brought to life in a modest way, as to avoid waking up the entire neighborhood. After all, we are talking about a dignified luxury car, despite the amount of horsepower and top performance. However, that doesn't mean it will embarrass itself when put to the test. Richard Hammond righty used the metaphor that the new Bentley Continental GT is “a beautiful lady who lifts her skirt to be able to run”.
That’s what driving the Continental GT Convertible feels like; it moves forward in such a pleasant and graceful way that you can’t in your wildest imagination think that it should be able to do anything else. But as soon as you push down the gas pedal a little harder, the power is brought to life and the graceful stride is suddenly replaced with the one of a sprinter. The Continental GT Convertible easily launches you past 300 km/h, and the top speed isn’t achieved until the speedometer reaches 333 km/h.
The new Continental GT Convertible comes with two different spec kits; one for those who mainly drive in cities, and the other for those who spend more time on open, long roads. The City Specification includes features like automatic trunk opening, sign identification, an overview camera and automatic brakes that detect and stop for pedestrians. The Touring Specification includes Adaptive Cruise Control with Traffic Jam Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, heads-up display, auto brakes and night vision using an infrared camera.
A fun quirky detail is the rotating panel of the dashboard. This allows you to choose between either a 12.3-inch screen for navigation and infotainment or three analog dials with a clock, the outside temperature and a compass - or hide everything and keep it minimalistic.
If you want to experience the best of the best is definitely a Bentley Continental GT Convertible way to go. Of course, there are other brands and models in this class even if it doesn't cry about them. with British feeling and charisma.
|Bentley Continental GT Convertible|
Base price: Over SEK 2 300 000.
This article was originally published in Gate Report Magazine.