When you’re well-heeled enough to afford a top-line Bentley, practicality isn’t usually a big factor in the equation. That’s why coupes and convertibles serve as important profit and volume boosters. They’re a pretty certain green light to get approved somewhere along the line. Timing them at the right points in the model cycle helps to keep interest and sales up.
Rolls-Royce has found this to be a successful tactic with the Phantom lineup, and more variants could be on the way based off the Silver Ghost. At Pebble Beach, Bentley released sketches of a new convertible called the Mulsanne Vision Concept. That car is a preview of what a Mulsanne convertible might look like.
Autocar reports that a production version is set for approval later this year, with a launch coming two years away. That is a way into the model cycle for a normal car, but remember that cars like the Mulsanne have much longer cycles. For instance, Rolls just released the Phantom Series II at the Geneva Motor Show in March. Series II is effectively a mid-cycle enhancement….and it came ten years in the Phantom’s cycle. Planned obsolescence isn’t a big selling point when you’re throwing around tons of cash.
For the Mulsanne convertible, Autocar says to expect different, more dramatic bodywork from the windshield back. The car will be designed to evoke the classic Bentley R-Type. Under the hood will be Bentley’s 6.75-liter V-8 power, and a V-12 option might be available later on. Remember the part about profit boosting? The car’s price tag would be around 275,000 GBP (or around $436,000), a nearly $80,000 increase. With dedicated body work, the new Mulsanne Convertible (whatever it is called) should be a real looker. How about a coupe variant too while they’re at it? We wouldn’t be surprised to see that come later.