New Bentley Continental GT Convertible – 626bhp drop-top revealed
Bentley has taken the wraps off its newest convertible in the range, the all-new Continental GT Convertible. Based on the new Continental GT coupe that was launched earlier this year, the GT Convertible is promising the same jump in performance and technology, while adding vital dynamic capability to its familiar repertoire of supreme comfort and refinement.
Initially, Bentley will launch the Continental GT Convertible with the same 6-litre twin-turbocharged W12 engine as in the coupe. The figures are unchanged, the car producing 626bhp with a monumental 900Nm of torque available from just 1350rpm. As such, the big convertible will reach 100kmph in 3.8sec, and sail on to a top speed north of 330kmph. These numbers not only surpass the previous Continental GTC, but also major rivals like the Aston Martin DB11 Volante, which concedes over 100bhp and 135.6Nm of torque due to its smaller V8 engine.
The W12 engine is connected to an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, running through a new all-wheel drive system which constantly varies the amount of drive going to each axle depending on load and traction. Other engines will eventually find their way into the Continental GT, including a V8 and hybrid option, but for the moment only the W12 is available.
But it’s under the skin that Bentley has made big steps with the latest Continental GT. Gone are the previous model’s VW Pheaton-derived underpinnings, instead this GT is now on an all-new platform called MSB, co-developed with Porsche. This new chassis not only facilitates new tech, such as a 48V electrical system powering an active anti-roll system and all-new Porsche derived infotainment tech, but it’s also moved the big W12 engine farther back in the chassis, improving front-to-rear weight distribution. The front axle is now 135mm further forward, allowing Bentley’s engineers to lower the nose and shorten the front overhang too.
The soft-top roof has been redesigned, with new seals and insulation within the three-layer hood keeping noise levels equivalent to the previous generation Continental GT coupe, an impressive feat considering the previous model was hardly lacking in refinement. A new, very British option on this GT Convertible is the tweed roof finish, that can be picked from a range including six other exterior fabric colours.
The Continental GT Convertible’s interior is unchanged from the coupe, so expect the same crafted timber and leather detailing, combined with metallic dash finishes and that toblerone-style rotating display. The GT Convertible will also not be the only new Continental derivative, with a new Flying Spur saloon due to be revealed later in 2019.