AM Online

Spyshot: The Bentley not meant to exist

The third and final member of the baby Bentley family – the convertible – has been spied hot weather testing.

Just four months ago, Bentley insiders said that the Continental GT convertible’s future hung in the balance.

Although the drop top had been designed under the BY615 codename, a faction wanted Crewe to focus on recouping VW’s big investment in the coupé and Flying Spur saloon, rather than spending more cash on a third model. However, this solitary spy shot proves that the convertible programme is very much alive and kicking, and on course for launch next year.

The drop top is based on the GT’s chassis, rather than the stretched Flying Spur’s. The coupé’s distinctive design cues are carried over, including the pronounced rear haunches inspired by the 1952 R-type, and four tailpipes.

Take a close peek and you can even make out the winged B badge, above the number plate. The front end design is familiar from the coupé.

Bentley has stuck with a cloth hood, which can be raised and lowered at the touch of a button. The convertible remains a four-seater, but the two rear berths are a squeeze for adults. Expect extra chassis bracing to add a few kilos, but it shouldn’t blunt the Bentley’s express train performance too much.

Mounted in the nose is Bentley’s 6.0-litre W12. Breathed on by twin turbochargers, the engine produces 552bhp and 479lb ft. Drive is channelled to all four wheels via a six-speed auto ’box.

Expect deliveries of the GT convertible to begin in time for next summer, priced around £120,000.

Design

Look is predictable – it’s a soft top version of the Continental GT coupé, with a touch of R-type.

Chassis

Shared with the coupé, but likely to be even heavier, due to an electric motor for the roof and extra bracing.

Engine

It’s the familiar twin turbo powerplant: Crewe’s mighty 6.0-litre W12 producing 552bhp and 479lb ft

If you are not a registered user your comment will go to AM for approval before publishing. To avoid this requirement please register or login.

Comment as guest


Login  /  Register

Comments

No comments have been made yet.