New Bentley Continental GT Mulliner Convertible unveiled

July 31, 2020

Looking to buy a new car for the summer? Perhaps this is what you’re thinking. It’s the new Bentley Continental GT Mulliner convertible. This is all about craftsmanship and quality. In fact, 400,000 stitches hold the upholstery together.

It’s described as the luxury pinnacle of the Continental GT family, and it will make its formal debut in, fittingly, St Tropez in the south of France. This is the perfect scene for such a lavish vehicle. Ideally located just a short drive away from the glamorous hills of Monaco.

The new model is developed by Bentley’s bespoke Mulliner division. The team of specially-trained craftsman are usually responsible for creating a range of custom and extra-indulgent optional features for Bentley models. But here they have come up with a complete package. For the GT convertible the division is offering 88 different piano-finish wood veneers, for example.

As standard a Grand Black walnut veneer is applied inside. The burr walnut is hand-sanded and polished to perfection. A variety of chrome details are spread throughout for contrast and sophistication, such as a convertible silhouette logo on the passenger-side dash, and a B-motif on the sill panels.

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Passengers are cradled in soft and relaxing chairs that are wrapped in special double-diamond-stitched quilted leather. Bentley says it takes almost 400,000 stitches to complete the quilting throughout the cabin, with each diamond containing precisely 712 stitches to ensure absolute consistency. The company says it took 18 months to develop the embroidery process.

For the exterior Bentley is giving the convertible a set of all-new 22-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels, which are painted and polished. They feature a floating B emblem which remains upright as the wheel rotates around it. There’s also a sprinkling of Mulliner badges and unique trimmings applied. The body panels are then painted in one of 88 different Mulliner-exclusive colours. Alternatively, Bentley’s paint specialists can also colour match to any item the customer desires.

In terms of the power, buyers can choose between a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that produces 404kW/770Nm, or a 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12 that generates 467kW/900Nm. The V8 can propel the luxurious land yacht from 0-100km/h in 4.0 seconds, while the W12 reduces the sprint to just 3.8 seconds.

The new Continental GT has been on sale now for a bit over a year. Sales are doing okay in Australia, with the brand selling 48 examples so far this year, down 21.3 per cent. However, considering the coronavirus pandemic has caused overall new vehicle sales to drop 20.2 per cent in the first six months of this year, compared with the same period in 2019, Bentley’s variance isn’t too bad.

Brett is the editor and founder of Performance Drive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.