The 2019 Bentley Continental GT Convertible hits 60 mph in 3.7 seconds.
The Z-fold roof provides a three decibel noise reduction; the chassis is 20 percent lighter.
Despite the luxury, performance, and technology we still cannot get over the center console.
Let’s get right to the point. Are you filthy rich? Are you so rich that if, say, you’re crazy, a shallow trophy wife (let’s call her Daisy) were to, oh, run over and crush a woman named Myrtle that you’ve been having an affair with for a while, you could buy your way out of it without breaking much of a sweat?
Then buddy, have I got a car for you: The 2019 Bentley Continental GT Convertible!
Look, I’m not obsessively anti-rich or anything. But I’m having a devil of a time figuring out why someone would buy a car like the 2019 Bentley Continental GT Convertible. It has everything a person could want in a production luxury car: style, technology, power, refinement, gorgeous materials, all that stuff.
It’s the flash I don’t completely understand.
The Conti Convertible is just so affectedly showy, so over the top in what it’s trying to present to the world, that even Kanye West would look at it and say, “Nah, that’s a little too much, don’t ya think?” And the Saudi prince, you know, the one with his own custom-made Boeing 747 as a private jet, would answer, “yeah, bruh, I know, right?” Maybe it’s just the top . . . it is made of tweed – a first for any car, which is kind of surprising since you’d think some British company would have done that ages ago.
But apart from the pretension, the affectedness, and the flamboyance, what we have here is a pretty standard Bentley, circa 2019: tons of everything, and it’s very well screwed together.
300 Million Calculations Per Second
Let’s start with the first place everyone overlooks: The engine bay. Nestled within, you’ll find Bentley’s 6.0-liter, W12 TSI engine, designed, developed, and hand-built in Crewe (if you ignore that Bentley is a VW subsidiary and variations of this plant can be found elsewhere in the line). Bentley says it is the “most advanced 12-cylinder engine in the world,” to which some guys in Maranello respond, “Tieni il mio chianti, amico.”
Said plant is controlled by a computer making 300 million software calculations per second.
The healthy 626 horsepower and 664 lb-ft. of torque throws this barge down the esplanade at substantial speeds. Zero to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, for example, with a top speed of 207. Impressive by any measure. And it becomes even more so when you figure this thing has got to weigh more than the HMS Ark Royal.
Although the 2019 Bentley Continental GT Convertible is 20 percent lighter and five percent stiffer.
[bctt tweet=”Even Kanye West would look at it and say, Nah, that’s a little too much, don’t ya think?” username=”Automoblog”]
Transmission & Efficiency
The new engine utilizes start-stop technology, which is now mandatory in the Euro zone, yes? The engine also has Bentley’s Variable Displacement system that shuts down half of the engine. Intake and exhaust valves, fuel injection, and ignition are all cut on selected cylinders, with the mill running as a six-cylinder for better efficiency. The trans is a dual-clutch, eight-speed deal mated to a new “Active All-Wheel-Drive System” that varies the front-to-rear torque split, depending on the driving situation.
But enough about all that! Engines are dirty with grease and the province of the working classes (shudder). Here, step inside, have a seat. The interior of the 2019 Bentley Continental GT Convertible is like the drawing room at Highclere Castle.
Related: Not a sports car, but still fast: Meet the Bentley Continental GT.
All About Dat Center Console
The details are enough to choke a horse. For example, over 10 square meters of wood including Koa and Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus wood as options. There are eight interior roof lining colors to choose from. The center console can be spec’d in a new Côtes de Genève finish, which is used for the surfacing inside Swiss watches. Each “row” of the center console, according to Bentley, is five millimeters wide and machined at an angle for a three-dimensional finish. Each “pass of the machine” makes a “minute step” of 0.5 millimeters.
This is the center console, y’know, where you put yer French fries. Sheesh.
And it just goes on and on from there. Haptic finishes, pillow knurling for the switches and controls, diamond knurling on other controls, 20-way adjustable seats, heating and massage functions for those seats, and signature Bentley quilting. The Naim 2,200 watt, 18-speaker system with Active Bass Transducers and eight sound modes ranges all the way from “symphonic” to “Pete Townshend’s Bleeding Eardrums.”
There’s a “Bentley Rotating Display” that provides a “digital or analogue” journey. A 12.3-inch MMI display (Audi!) resembles a smartphone with its configurable home screen.
Finally, the convertible roof opens and stows in about 20 seconds at speeds up to 30 mph.
Color Options & Pricing
All this and your choice of 17 colors. Oh, and that convertible roof? In addition to tweed, you get your choice of seven other colors. When picking out yours, I’m sure you’ll hear your shallow trophy wife exclaim something along the lines of “They’re such beautiful colors. It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such beautiful colors!”
Bentley has not, as of this writing, announced pricing for the convertible GT. The hardtop Continental GT starts around $218,400 and goes up from there.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. Follow his work on Twitter:@TonyBorroz