2019 Bentley Continental GT Convertible Debuts
- Third-generation soft-top comes on heels of all-new coupe
- 12-cylinder twin-turbo engine makes 626 horsepower
- All-wheel drive system varies torque for enhanced grip
- Opulent interior allows “digital detox”
- Pricing for current Continental GT Convertible starts over $240,000
As day follows night, so does an ultra-luxury convertible to an ultra-luxury coupe. Our latest example is the 2019 Bentley Continental GT Convertible, unveiled in sunny Los Angeles, where it will no doubt find celebrities, professional athletes and various Kardashians ready to cruise on Rodeo Drive and down the Pacific Coast Highway.
The 2019 Continental GT Convertible is the third generation of Bentley’s open-air 4-seater, and its unveiling comes roughly a year after the all-new 2019 Bentley Continental GT coupe debuted in Frankfurt, Germany. Like its hard-top sibling, the new Bentley Continental GT Convertible is a handcrafted British ultra-luxury car. While immediately recognizable as a Continental GT Convertible, this latest edition’s steel and aluminum body has been restyled in all the right places, with a contemporary and elegant yet muscular design. Pricing for the 2019 Continental GT Convertible hasn’t been announced, but for reference, the outgoing model begins over $240,000.
What do those pennies buy, beyond the intangible bliss of others’ envy who see you in a Bentley? For starters, you get the GT’s hand-built, twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter 12-cylinder engine that’s good for 626 horsepower – that’s a 44-pony increase over the mere 582 of the outgoing 2018 model. As with prior Bentley Continentals, this new GT Convertible is all-wheel drive. Unlike past versions that had a set 40/60 front/rear power split, the all-new Bentley Continental GT Convertible can split its gargantuan 664 lb-ft of torque between the front and rear by varying degrees as necessitated by the driving conditions.
As with its coupe sibling, power is routed through a new 8-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission. Put it all together, and the new Continental GT Convertible can rip from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds, just a tick behind the hardtop version. From there, this convertible British luxury machine can match the coupe with a top speed of 207 mph. Best hang on to your hat and scarf.
Also like the coupe, this new exotic convertible features various drive settings – Comfort, Sport, or Bentley modes – air suspension, and a 48-volt roll control system. Tipping the scales at over 5,300 pounds, this is no lightweight.
Opulent details abound
Of course, the Bentley is about far more than grunt. When you spend a quarter-million dollars on a car, you have expectations that go beyond the ordinary. Here, too, the Bentley is designed to deliver. Representing “all Bentley knows about creating the world’s definitive Grand Tourers,” this new convertible Bentley is quieter than ever – matching previous sound-quashing level as the former coupe model – while the body is 20 percent light and 5 percent stiffer.
As before, this Bentley Continental convertible uses a fabric roof that is now available in seven colors, including a tweed finish for the first time. Raising or lowering the roof takes just 19 seconds and can be done at speeds up to 30 mph, all the better when the paparazzi are on your tail.
Comfort is a key trait to any Bentley, and this one ups the ante with 20-way adjustable front seats and a newly designed neck warmer. In addition to heating and ventilation (naturally), the seats have the ability to give you a massage.
New tech, too
The 2019 Bentley Continental GT Convertible will offer two technology packages at launch: City Specification or Touring Specification. Bentley says the City system is for “urban journeys” and includes hands-free boot opening (that’s a trunk to us Americans), pedestrian warning, traffic sign recognition, top-view camera system and automatic emergency braking system. The Technology spec, for longer-distance driving, includes adaptive cruise control, active lane-keeping assistance, heads-up display and night-vision camera.
Other tech highlights include Bentley’s largest-ever infotainment touchscreen, at 12.3 inches, that displays navigation, audio info and other functions. Apple CarPlay and the ability to search for destinations via Google integration are also laudable. Audio comes via your choice of three systems: A standard 10-speaker, 650-watt unit; a 16-speaker/1,500-watt Bang & Olufsen unit with illuminated speaker grilles; or the topline, 2,200-watt/18-speaker Naim audiophile system. Depending on your taste in music, your neighbors will love or hate you.
A digital detox
One interesting feature in the Continental GT Convertible’s opulent leather- and wood-layered interior is the option for what Bentley dubs a “digital detox.” It involves the center display that houses the large touchscreen.
This large screen is actually just one of three sides. The driver can rotate it to two others. One houses three analog dials that show outside temperature, a compass, and a chronometer. Then there’s the third side, which shows nothing at all, just a classy wood veneer. Don’t you feel less stressed already?
Bentley has yet to announce formal pricing or even when the 2019 Continental GT Convertible will go on sale. But we can easily speculate a price in the quarter-million region and arrival sometime next year. And as with all Bentleys, this one can be commissioned to each buyer’s taste. These are handmade, after all. For Bentley’s wealthy clientele, it marks the latest plaything to put on their holiday gift lists.