THE folk at Bentley aren’t stupid. They know a convertible Continental looks and feels at home in Marbella – they are as common there as a Ford Focus.
No surprise, then, that Marbs is where the British marque chose to launch its brand new soft-top, but I couldn’t help feeling it has out-classed the joint.
This new model naturally shares a lot with its coupé sibling, which is already a staggering improvement on the outgoing version. But hundreds more engineering hours have been invested into that long, z-folding fabric roof to make it one of the quietest around.
In fact, Bentley’s own spanner-wielders say driving the new GTC with the roof up is as hushed and relaxing as driving the old coupe model. Quite the claim.
Let me start with the looks, because this generation Continental is Bentley design chief Stefan Sielaff’s finest performance. He’s Pele with a pencil.
The lower and longer profile, elongated bonnet and more pronounced power lines give it a much more athletic appearance on the road, while the sharp new roof design means it stops folk in their tracks.
Specify your Bentley with the optional Black Pack and it looks mean and menacing, or apply the blingy chrome and option the tweed fabric roof for that classic gentleman look. Either way, it’s a stunner.
This convertible is 20 per cent lighter and five per cent stiffer than previous generations, but there is a tiny bit of flex felt through the body.
This is barely noticeable given that this brawny continent-crosser rides like it is coasting on the back of a magic carpet.
Even with the world’s largest alloys, this thing is as smooth as a greased-up Gregg Wallace. It is currently only available with Bentley’s monster 635hp W12 engine, and can feel a bit heavy and lumbering through corners.
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But that poke is enough to see it rocket from 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 207mph.
With such a dazzling attention to detail inside and out – and the latest technology – this £175,100 summer signing is in a league of its own.
It certainly went down a storm in sunny Marbs.
Key facts: Bentley Continental Convertible
- Price: £175,100
- Engine: 6-litre W12
- 0-62mph: 3.8secs
- Top speed: 207mph
- Fuel economy: 20.2mpg
- CO2: 317g/km
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