Bentley, the British luxury carmaker, has some holes in its otherwise lavish lineup of sedans and coupes. The new Grand Convertible concept, unveiled at the 2014 L.A. Auto Show, is meant to fill ones of the biggest deficiencies: It needs more convertibles.
The Grand Convertible is, the company says, “the most sophisticated open-top car ever created by Bentley.”
The Grand Convertible was billed as a concept, but the vehicle was all but production-ready. It is based on its Mulsanne luxury flagship, with power and luxury rivaling the company’s most extreme offerings.
Under the hood is a 6.75-liter V8, equipped with twin turbochargers, producing a total of 530 horsepower and 811 pounds-feet of torque. Top speed, while not announced, approached 200 m.p.h.
The concept’s Sequin Blue color was originally created to fulfill a customer’s request to replicate a single sequin from a haute couture gown. Like the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe, to which this concept is meant as a competitive answer, the Grand Convertible features a contrasting silver “liquid metal” finish to its hood and windshield frame.
It took 14 naturally tanned, linen-colored leather hides, stitched merged together with progressive-diamond quilting, to craft the four seats seats and door panels.
When the convertible top is stowed, the tonneau cover (ala the RR’s teak rear deck) is hand-crafted of book-matched, mirror-finished, dark-stained Burr Walnut between parallel lines of chromed steel. “It’s the largest piece of wood veneer ever applied to a Bentley,” the company said.
“This concept demonstrates Bentley’s ability to create a pinnacle convertible Grand Tourer,” said Wolfgang Durheimer, the company’s chief executive, in unveiling the car. “It embodies elegance beyond compare.”
He added, “With this car we combine the opulent Mulsanne experience with the full sensory indulgence of open-air touring, continuing to unite luxury and performance in new ways. We are eagerly awaiting the response of our customers to this car. We will ensure that this car – if it reaches the roads – will be a highly exclusive, extremely limited collector’s piece.”
Why the reluctance to confirm the Grand Convertible for production?
Maybe they didn’t want to reveal the price yet!