New 2018 Bentley Continental Convertible New 2018
Bentley Continental Convertible

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KBB Editor's Overview

By KBB.com Editorial Staff

With an all-new Continental GT coupe set to debut in 2019, the 2018 Bentley Continental GT soldiers on this year, but only in convertible form. Although basically a carryover from last year, the Continental GT is still a formidable piece of work, offering buyers a handcrafted drop-top with a twin-turbocharged 12-cylinder engine. In Supersports guise, the W12 is tuned to produce an astounding 700 horsepower, which is enough to move this 2-ton beauty to 60 mph in less than four seconds and keep it running to speeds just over 200 mph. That puts the big 4-seat Bentley in the same company as some of the world’s most impressive luxury-performance coupes including the Aston Martin DB9/Vanquish, Ferrari California and Rolls-Royce Dawn.

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You'll Like This Car If...

In the 2018 Bentley Continental GT, you’ll get an all-wheel-drive, open-air ultra-luxury car that can seat four, top 200 mph and has enough over-the-top bling to impress even the most jaded billionaire.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you’re looking for a coupe, you’ll have to wait for the 2019 model. If you’re looking for something more environmentally friendly, the Continental GT doesn’t offer an electric or hybrid option, but neither do any of its rivals, a number of which will get better than the Continental’s 12 mpg.

What's New for 2018

With the arrival of an all-new Continental GT coupe later this year, the 2018 model line carries on with only three convertible models: GT, GT Speed and, for the first time, a Supersports. The GT gets a new limited-edition Timeless Series that adds Mulliner content and Liquid Amber Veneer.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

Despite a hefty curb weight exceeding 5,000 pounds, the remainder of the 2018 Continental GT convertible lineup merits dynamic kudos thanks to a superb balance of power, comfort and control. The twin-turbocharged W12 engine packs a wallop for sure, ranging from 582 in the GT to 700 horsepower in the Supersports, making these Bentleys exhilaratingly quick. The standard all-wheel-drive system imparts a confident feel even when you’re pressing through challenging twisty bits or running hard on the highway in the rain. Standard air suspension with continuous damper control allows the four discrete levels of chassis tuning, although the lower-riding GT Speed and Supersports set themselves apart with tauter Sport programming in place of the baseline Touring spec to deliver a more enthusiast-grade feel. Regardless of model, spending time in the stylish, finely finished and superbly isolated interior of any Continental GT can make even the most mundane errand-running mission a memorable experience.

Favorite Features

TWIN-TURBOCHARGED W12 ENGINE
The Continental’s delicious twin-turbocharged 12-cylinder gains power the further up the trim line one ventures. The W-shaped design incorporates two banks of three cylinders on each side of the engine block, further distinguishing the Continental GT from lesser luxury cars.

FRONT SEATS WITH MASSAGE AND NECK WARMERS
There’s nothing like a vigorous massage after a long day shopping on Fifth Avenue. Thankfully, you can get one on the way home if you opt for the Continental’s massaging front seats. On cold nights, a vent atop the seat blows warm air onto the back of its occupant’s neck. 

Vehicle Details

Interior

Like all Bentley vehicles, the handcrafted cabin of the new Continental GT family is a strikingly sensual environment that deftly melds rich leather with a variety of fine wood and alloy accent elements. The Convertible features a one-touch fully lined power soft-top. Updated instrument graphics and more user-friendly controls add new charm to the realm from a driver’s standpoint, and revised model-specific upholstery patterns bring greater visual distinction. Extremely supportive full-power front buckets are matched with individual rear seats that while comfortable in their own right, are better suited to carrying kids than full-size adults.

Exterior

The Bentley Continental looks most handsome with its top removed, which may prompt bouts of open-air driving even as the days grow cooler. Beautiful bold contours create a muscular yet elegant shape that pays tribute to the first Continentals of the mid-1950s. Despite VW ownership of the brand, the styling is pure Bentley, bold where it needs to be (think headlights, wheels and flared fenders) yet subtle and distinctive (that grille) in others. A massive rear spoiler and carbon-fiber trim are the hallmarks of the Supersports trim.

Notable Standard Equipment

The Continental GT family complements its model-range-specific premium leather/wood/aluminum cabin trim elements with a full array of comfort/convenience touches and power assists -- including a rearview camera and hands-free trunk activation. Even the base models feature an 8-speaker premium sound system, an 8.0-inch touch screen with navigation, Bluetooth phone/streaming audio, 21-inch wheels and LED-infused bi-xenon headlights. Moving up to the Speed and Supersports variants adds Mulliner Driving Specification quilted-leather upholstery and standard heated seats.

Notable Optional Equipment

In addition to the near-endless selection of unique touches available through Bentley’s Mulliner operation and the Naim premium audio system, Bentley offers upgrades like ventilated front seats with massage, deep-pile carpets and mats, a sport steering wheel, adaptive cruise control and massive carbon-ceramic brakes. On-board Wi-Fi is also available as are a heated steering wheel, a wind deflector and integrated neck warmers, which blow warm air through a vent in the seat to fight off chill on those top-down evenings. And don’t forget to spec out your jewel gas- and oil-filler caps.

Under the Hood

The Continental GT family offers three versions of the W12 engine. Making 582 horses the 6.0-liter 12-cylinder in the W12 GT also employs a cylinder-deactivation system that improves its combined fuel economy. The W12 in the Continental GT Speed cranks out an exhilarating 633 horses, while the W12 in the range-topping Supersports makes 700 horsepower and 750 lb-ft of torque. All engines are backed by a paddle-shiftable 8-speed automatic transmission and grip the road with all-wheel drive.

6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12 (GT)
582 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
531 lb-ft of torque @ 1,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/20 mpg

6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12 (GT Speed)
633 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
620 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/20 mpg 

6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12 (Supersports)
700 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
750 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 12/20 mpg

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Pricing Notes

The 2018 Continental GT Convertible has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) around $241,500, while the Speed ups the price to around $270,000 and the Supersports closer to $328,000. Bentley’s extensive personalization programs can add considerably to those numbers, and while KBB hasn’t set fair purchase prices for any Continental variant, full retail represents a good starting point. By comparison, an Aston Martin DB9 GT Volante opens just over $217,000, the Vanquish S commands nearly $315,000, while the Ferrari California and Rolls-Royce Dawn begin around $202,000 and $345,500, respectively. Although less exclusive, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet starts around $134,000.

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