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Meet Bentley's huge Grand Convertible
Fans of understatement, look away now: it’s the new Bentley Grand Convertible.
It’s described by Bentley boss Wolfgang Dürheimer as “embodying elegance beyond compare”. So long as you deem ‘elegance’ to be ‘five and a half metres long and two-tone’, you can’t really argue with him.
The Grand Convertible is technically a concept, and has not been confirmed for production yet. But it appears to share much with the Mulsanne and looks ready for sale, so we’d be flabbergasted if Bentley chickened out. Crewe has a past with two-door drop-tops like this, the Azure being spun off previous Continental and Arnage models.
This GC remains very much in the same vein as the Azure. A 530bhp, 811lb ft 6.75-litre twin-turbo V8 engine drives the rear wheels, and that’s probably one of its subtler boasts.
For instance, that ‘Sequin Blue’ paint is so-called because it originates from a customer’s bespoke colour, matched to a sequin from their haute couture gown. We’d wager that’s not how Dacia sources its colour palette.
Want more silly facts? The wooden tonneau cover - made from dark-stained burr walnut - is the largest piece of wood veneer yet seen on a Bentley, and it’s made by hand. Meanwhile, the interior contains no fewer than 14 leather hides, lashed together with more sequin-coloured stitching.
Bentley may try to describe the Grand Convertible as ‘understated in style’, but we’re not buying it. There’s no skulking around anonymously in one of these, but that’s doubtless the point.
The monster cabrio makes its debut at the Los Angeles motor show this week, where customer reaction will dictate whether it makes it to production as “a highly exclusive, extremely limited collector’s piece”. LA strikes us as a rather tactical place to go to get a rapturous response to a vast, blingy convertible…