Continental GT Convertible
tHE ULTIMATE EXPRESSION OF OPEN-AIR GRAND TOURING
The Continental GT Convertible has been designed, engineered and handcrafted in Britain, – representing all Bentley knows about creating the world’s most stylish and elegant Grand Tourers – the GT Convertible is the very essence of the luxury brand.
Elegant and sculptural exterior styling harmonises perfectly with an exquisite handcrafted cabin, featuring the highest quality leathers and sustainably sourced veneers.
The tailored convertible roof can be deployed or stowed in just 19 seconds, with the car travelling at speeds of up to 30 mph (50 km/h). This transforms the Continental GT Convertible from a luxurious coupe into an open-top Grand Tourer at the touch of a button. Seven different fabric hood colours are available, including an authentic tweed finish for the first time.
A newly designed neckwarmer (which is both warmer and quieter than in the previous generation model), is seamlessly integrated into the heated Comfort Seats, optimising efficiency and airflow around the electrically adjustable headrests. The styling highlight of the new neckwarmer is a chrome centre vane that stretches the full width of the duct, echoing Bentley’s famous ‘bullseye’ vents. Combined with a heated steering wheel, seat heaters and new heated armrests, these sophisticated comfort features create a luxurious driving experience in all environments
At the heart of the Continental GT Convertible sits either Bentley’s renowned 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged W12 TSI engine, or emotional 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V8. Both mated to a dual-clutch eight-speed transmission, for faster, more efficient gear changes.
A technically advanced, adaptive chassis uses Bentley’s intelligent 48-volt Dynamic Ride System to ensure a responsive ride and exceptional handling and refinement in all road conditions. The system controls ride comfort and lateral roll, cushioning passengers from excessive movement as well as making the car feel effortlessly precise.
The Continental GT Convertible also showcases major evolutions in Bentley’s unique application of technology. An advanced, fully digital, driver-focused instrument panel and Bentley Rotating Display for the driver are among the suite of innovations. The latter features an impressive 12.3” touchscreen housed in a three-sided unit, which revolves from pure veneer to reveal either a touchscreen or three elegant analogue dials – offering customers the option of a digital detox when desired.
The interior design of the Continental GT Convertible is tailored specifically to the modern luxury customer, with unrivalled attention to detail that creates an effortless ownership experience. The cabin seamlessly integrates cutting-edge onboard technology with the finest handcrafted natural materials. The result is an exquisite, harmonised, connected and luxurious space.
Elegant, sophisticated and refined, the Continental GT Convertible is the pinnacle of open-top luxury Grand Touring.
Sublime Power: The Beating Heart of Bentley
The Continental GT family uses two powertrains dependent on model. The GT Mulliner Convertible and GT Speed Convertible centre around the iconic W12, whilst the Azure and S take full advantage of the benefits of the V8.
Designed, developed and handbuilt in Crewe, the W12 TSI engine is the most advanced 12-cylinder engine in the world. The unique ‘W’ configuration means that the engine is 24 per cent shorter than an equivalent V12, benefitting weight distribution and maximising usable cabin space.
The powertrain uses the very latest engine management technology, with 300 million software calculations per second. It produces 659 PS (650 bhp) and 900 Nm (664 lb.ft.) of torque, and accelerates the Continental GT to 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds (0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds), and on to a top speed of 335 km/h (207 mph).
A dedicated Sport Launch mode delivers maximum acceleration through careful clutch pressure sensing and pre-loading when a race-style start is required by the driver.
The W12 TSI combines high-pressure direct fuel injection with low-pressure injection. The combination of these two systems maximises refinement, lowers particulate emissions and optimises power and torque delivery.
The revised engine utilises Start-Stop technology and, in Bentley’s advanced application, coasting is also made possible. The engine rests not only when the vehicle is stationary but also at near-to-stop speeds.
Bentley’s Variable Displacement system shuts down half of the engine under defined conditions. Intake and exhaust valves, fuel injection and ignition are all shut down on defined cylinders, with the engine running as a six-cylinder for improved efficiency.
The new-generation 4.0-litre, 32-valve V8 petrol engine develops 542 bhp (550 PS) and 568 lb.ft (770 Nm) of torque. It also features dual twin-scroll turbochargers located inside the ‘V’ of the engine, together resulting in a top speed of 198 mph (318 km/h) and 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.0 seconds).
Spirited performance from the eight-speed V8 models is complemented by refined efficiency, stemming partly from the ability of the engine to de-activate four of its eight cylinders in suitable conditions, without compromising the drive. The seamless change happens in just 20 milliseconds and is imperceptible to customers. Stop-Start technology, which operates at ‘near-to-stop’ speeds, is also available.
Significantly, a new dual-mass flywheel replaces the torque converter, to dampen out the oscillations of the driveline and provide a fittingly smooth power delivery for luxury touring.
The dual-clutch eight-speed transmission provides smooth acceleration, and impressively quick gearshifts, both hallmarks of the Continental GT’s dynamic character, as well as improved combined fuel economy.
Shift times are variable and depend on the selected driving mode. In Sport mode, shifts are seemingly instantaneous to deliver uninterrupted torque delivery and maximum acceleration performance. In Comfort mode, shifts are deliberately relaxed to allow for a seamless and imperceptible gear change.
Maximum speed is reached in seventh gear, with eighth gear acting as an overdrive gear for relaxed cruising.
A new Active All-Wheel-Drive System replaces the traditional 40:60 power delivery split between front and rear wheels respectively, instead varying the front-to-rear torque split dependent upon the driving situation. The vehicle will use rear-wheel drive as much as possible during normal driving for optimum efficiency and dynamic performance.
Based on the conditions and the driver’s behaviour, the system will send drive to the front axle as required. This reduces the understeer effect from fixed all-wheel drive, as well as increasing driver engagement for those who revel in the dynamic attributes of the Continental GT Convertible.
The Evolution of Bentley’s Famous Design DNA
Unmistakably a Bentley – the third generation Continental GT Convertible retains the elegance and style of its forebears. More sculpted and sharply defined, the body and materials combine to create a truly beautiful car – roof up or down.
The Convertible’s profile is longer and lower than its forebear due to the positioning of the front wheels 135 mm further forward. This has allowed the bonnet to be extended and the nose to be lowered. The key signature power lines of its coupe sibling still dominate, flowing back towards the muscular rear haunches.
The lighting on the Continental GT Convertible uses the latest LED Matrix technology, but it is the design of the headlamps that truly sets them apart. Inspired by the finest cut-crystal glasses, the internal surfaces are transparent with sharply defined edges that catch the light like a diamond.
The result is similar to that of an illuminated gem – an effect which is magnified when the optional welcome sequence gradually illuminates the headlights as you approach the car. The taillights also feature the cut-crystal effect, highlighting the three-dimensional depth of the optics.
The Continental GT Convertible has 21” Five Tri-Spoke wheels as standard, with the option of 10-Spoke and 22” Five Open-Spoke wheels. These three wheel designs are offered in a selection of ten polished and painted finishes.
Convertible customers can choose from the palette of 17 colours, including Beluga, Onyx and Portofino. An optional extended range of colours is also available – as well as the option of full bespoke colour-matching for Bentley customers. These can be coordinated with seven exterior roof colours.
A Handcrafted Luxurious Cabin
The exquisite interior of the Continental GT Convertible is a showcase for Bentley’s unrivalled expertise in the use of natural materials, fully revealed to the world when the elegant roof is lowered.
From the highest-quality leathers, to rare, sustainably sourced veneers, such as Koa and Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus, the cabin is a triumph for craftsmanship and artisanal skill. Unique dual-veneer is offered, with over 10 square metres of wood used in every car. Customers have the choice of a polished wooden steering wheel too.
The dashboard is styled and sculpted by long, flowing wings that mirror the shape of the Bentley badge. Continental GT Convertible customers can choose from eight interior hood lining colours, including Red, Blue and Magnolia.
The centre console is finished to match the lower fascia, but can be specified in a new technical finish that is inspired by the delicate mechanical surfacing inside the finest mechanical Swiss watches, known as Côtes de Genève. This surface is machined onto 0.6 mm-thick aluminium and is created by machining from side to side to create a linear pattern. Each row is 5 mm wide and machined at an angle to give a truly three-dimensional finish, with each pass of the machine making a minute step of 0.5 mm.
New types of luxurious haptic finishes adorn the interior of the Continental GT Convertible for greater sensory, as well as visual, enjoyment. In some areas, pillow knurling replaces the traditional mechanical knurling, for a softer, more refined feel on switches and controls, while diamond knurling adds a luxurious touch using a detailed three-dimensional faceted surface.
The 20-way adjustable Comfort Seats set new industry standards in comfort and refinement. Smooth centre panels allow maximum efficiency for the ventilation, heating and massage functions, while the adjustable bolsters retain the signature Bentley quilting. There is also the option of Hand Cross Stitch finishing.
A choice of three audio systems is offered in the Continental GT Convertible. The standard system features 10 speakers and 650 Watts, while a Bang & Olufsen 1,500 W, 16-speaker system with illuminated speaker grilles is available, benefiting from the first automotive application of the BeoSonic system – a new way for tone setting with a simple, intuitive one-touch user interface.
A Naim 2,200 W, 18-speaker system with Active Bass Transducers built into the front seats and eight sound modes is offered for the true audiophile.
Behind the wheel, the technological advancements in the Continental GT Convertible continue. The driver-orientated instrument panel is fully digital and can be personalised by the driver.
The Bentley Rotating Display offers the choice between a digital or analogue journey. At first glance there appears to be no screen in the centre of the dashboard. Instead, the veneer flows uninterrupted across the dashboard, while a thin chrome bezel behind the steering wheel surrounds a digital instrument display.
When the engine start button is pressed, however, the veneer in the middle of the dashboard glides silently forward and rotates to reveal Bentley’s largest-ever touchscreen, a 12.3” high-definition-quality digital MMI display, elegantly designed by Bentley with a customer-configurable home screen with three windows able to display the driver’s preferred functions, for example, navigation, media and telephone. The user interface is designed to be akin to a modern mobile phone and menus are structured to be instantly intuitive.
The third side on the Bentley Rotating Display reveals three elegant analogue dials displaying outside temperature, a compass and chronometer. Such an innovative use of traditional elements underscores Bentley’s unique commitment to the past and the future, and offers customers the choice of digital or analogue display or clean, calm cabin.
The new Continental benefits from features designed to keep both driver and passengers connected at all times. Apple CarPlay, the smartest and quickest way to integrate the functionality of Apple devices in a car is connected via a USB port.
Customer journeys are streamlined with features designed to improve navigation. Online search, powered by Google makes finding destinations simple, while real-time traffic information keeps the driver informed of current length or changes in congestion. In emergency situations, Private eCall provides instant access to emergency services for ultimate peace of mind when travelling.
A Tour de Force of Technology
State-of-the-art technology was integral to designing the most luxurious Grand Tourer. The Continental GT is a fusion of cutting-edge electronics and artisan craftsmanship. It represents the very latest in Bentley’s forward-looking approach to technology, blending ease of use with exquisite design and functionality.
Featuring completely new electrical systems compared to its predecessor, the attention to detail paid by the development team is evident in every aspect of the car’s development. Even the electrical consumption was minimized to save energy, resulting in the reduction of 12V batteries from two to one.
Combined with the ground-breaking Bentley Rotating Display, up to 10 sophisticated Driver Assistance Systems are available to help the driver in a variety of situations. The Top View Camera gives an ingenious, overhead view of the car and its immediate surroundings via the image processing of pictures provided by four different cameras around the car. This is complemented by reverse traffic warning and self-parking features.
The Night Vision infrared camera is located in the front of the car and monitors the road up to 984.25 feet (300 meters) ahead, making driving in poorly lit environments much safer. It detects and warns of moving obstacles such as pedestrians and large animals, allowing them to be viewed in the digital instrument display.
Active Lane Assist provides gentle steering assistance if it detects any drifting across lane boundaries, while Blind Spot Assist monitors the area around the car, flashing lights in the door mirrors if the driver attempts to cross the path of another vehicle. An optional Head-Up Display projects relevant information, such as current speed, speed limit, driver assistance and navigation information vehicle speed, directly in to the driver’s line of sight.
Traffic Sign Recognition detects speed limits and zones in which overtaking is prohibited. When activated, its information is displayed in the digital instrument display and the Head-Up Display. Even temporary speed restrictions on roads can be detected.
A raft of class-leading connected car features help keep the driver in touch with a range of real-time functions and services. An integrated Wi-Fi hotspot allows up to eight phones or portable digital devices to be connected to the internet. Meanwhile, a suite of My Bentley services is on hand to enhance the driving experience.
Some features make the journey smarter, such as Apple CarPlay, which takes music, maps, contacts and more from an iPhone and delivers them via the car’s central touchscreen, and Satellite maps, which allows the navigation system to display photorealistic maps.
Other services make the car journey safer, such as Private eCall, which facilitates a two-way communication between car occupants and Bentley’s dedicated call center in the event of an accident. Activated automatically on deployment of any of the airbags, it can also be accessed via an SOS button in the roof module overhead.
Packages of options also make it easier to commission collections of features together. City Specification includes Hands Free Trunk Opening, Pedestrian Warning, Reverse Traffic Warning and Automatic Dimming Mirrors. Touring Specification offers Lane Assist, Night Vision, Head-Up Display, Adaptive Cruise Control (with Traffic Jam Assist) and Bentley Safeguard Plus, with Emergency Lane Change Assist and Intersection Assist.
Located in front of the driver, the Digital Instrument Display introduces new graphics. It is fully configurable with ‘Classic’ and ‘Expanded’ views. The large 12.3-inch HD touchscreen in the center of the dashboard can also be configured in a number of different ways – as a single display, split 2:1 or showing three different functions at the same time – and was designed with simplicity and ease of use in mind. As with every Bentley, features are added to enhance the experience of driving and travelling in the car, but never to dominate it.
Unrivalled Grand Touring Ride and Handling
The third generation of Continental GT features Bentley Dynamic Ride, an advanced 48-volt roll control system for unrivalled car control. The system controls and adjusts the electronic actuators on the anti-roll bar of each axle and so improves handling and ride comfort, as well as making the car feel lighter and more precise.
This system instantly counteracts lateral rolling forces when cornering and ensures maximum tyre-to-road contact to deliver class-leading ride comfort and exceptional handling.
While conventional anti-roll bars present a compromise between body control and ride comfort, Bentley’s active system provides variable torsional resistance, allowing the Continental GT to be both dynamically capable and comfortable for all occupants at all times. The use of a 48-volt system results in silent, instantaneous responses and sufficient power on hand to deal with all road surfaces.
Through Bentley’s Drive Dynamics Control different modes can be selected: Comfort mode, Bentley mode or Sport mode; the suspension, engine, gearbox and other chassis systems will modify to match the selected drive mode. Alternatively, the driver can personalise his or her own dynamic settings.
The air suspension on the Continental GT Convertible is revised and uses three-chamber air springs which give the car 60 per cent more air volume in the softest setting than the previous model. This allowed Bentley’s engineers more scope for tuning the suspension to improve the ride comfort and dynamic character of the car. The system offers the scope to vary from sporting spring stiffness to luxury limousine refinement depending upon which mode the driver has selected.
As a foundation for this impressive handling, the Continental GT Convertible boasts a body-in-white structure that manages to be both stiffer and lighter than its predecessor. This five per cent improvement in torsional rigidity and 20 per cent reduction in structural weight are achievable thanks to the intelligent utilisation of aluminium and high-tensile steel in the platform.
Electric Power-Assisted Steering (EPAS) is also featured on the Continental GT Convertible. The new system improves feedback to the driver, while providing isolation from unwanted road disturbances. The steering system features a variable rack ratio, allowing increased response with higher steering angles to aid manoeuvrability whilst maintaining excellent stability at high speeds. The introduction of EPAS also allows the Continental GT to be offered with a wide range of Driver Assistance features including Active Lane Assist, Traffic Jam Assist and Park Assist.
Another key feature is the latest-generation Continuous Damping Control (CDC), which constantly adjusts the damper forces to optimise comfort. The system continually measures the velocity and distance between the wheels and the body at each corner and also adjusts the air volume in the springs if necessary to ensure the optimum balance of comfort and handling. Both front and rear axles are of a lightweight aluminium construction, with multilink design at the front and rear.
The braking system is the most powerful iron system ever fitted to a Bentley, with a total of 28 pistons. Front brake discs measuring 420 mm are a two-piece construction utilising a cast-iron friction ring and aluminium mounting bell. Front calipers feature ten pistons each, while rear calipers contain four pistons each that clamp 380 mm single-piece discs. Brakes of this scale provide the reliable, repeatable stopping performance inherently important to a 200+ mph sporting Grand Tourer.