IAN FLEMING, the creator of James Bond, owned a Bentley and the car is thought to have inspired him to equip his secret agent with such a car in his 1961 novel, Thunderball.
The car that James Bond ‘loved more than all the women at present in his life’ is one of Bentley’s most iconic and is said to be the design inspiration behind the all-new Continental GT Convertible, the sister to the new Coupe and priced to start with at just £175,000.
While the official launch has been pushed back to coincide with the centenary celebrations of the marque in 2019, the convertible has been revealed.
The convertible’s roof sweeps open in just 19 seconds to reveal the luxurious handcrafted interior.
Heated seats, heated armrests , neckwarmers and even a heated steering wheel option provide for a luxurious driving experience in all but the harshest environments at which point the stylish Z-fold roof may have to be deployed.
Unmistakably a Bentley, this third generation Continental GT Convertible is pushed to a top speed of 333kph (207mph) and from 0 to 100 kph (60 mph) in just 3.8 seconds by the 635PS W12 engine and eight speed dual clutch transmission augmented by the latest developments in chassis technologies.
The profile of the convertible is longer and lower than its predecessor as the front wheels are 135 mm further forward that has allowed the bonnet to be extended and the nose to be lowered. Further strengthening the face of the Bentley while the lines flow back to the muscular haunches at the rear.
Meanwhile the face of the Bentley Continental GT Convertible is adorned with jewels, the design of the headlamps are the latest LED Matrix technology however inspired by cut crystal glasses the internal surfaces are transparent with sharply defined edges that catch the light like a diamond. With a result that is not unlike an illuminated gem. The tail lights also feature the cut crystal effect.
The exquisite and endlessly customisable interior is a show case for all that Bentley offers in the use of materials and is displayed whenever the roof is lowered. Over 10 square meters of wood,sustainably sourced, is used in every car. The dashboard is long and flowing, discreetly packed with technology.
The 20 way adjustable seats set 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.
No less than three audio systems are available the standard features 10 speakers and 650 watts while a Bang & Olufsen 16 speakers and 1,500 watts. The Naim delivers 2,200 watts through no less than 18 speakers with active bass transducers built in to the front seats. Your driving play list never had it so good.
The driving experience is not neglected either. Through the Drive Dynamics Control system different modes may be selected that modify the suspension, engine , gearbox and other chassis systems to match the selected drive mode. Sport, Bentley or Comfort. Vary the ride from limousine smooth to sporting stiffness. Even James Bond may have chosen this car, given the chance.
Nick Horne, London, England