Ever since the Arnage was replaced by the Mulsanne in 2009, Bentley ceased to offer a full-size convertible to go against the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe. The Azure, the two-door, convertible version of the Arnage was the last Bentley directly aimed at the Drophead Coupe, with that mission being somewhat transferred to the Continental Convertible, a smaller, yet more powerful vehicle. Rumors about a Mulsanne Convertible have been floating around since 2011, but we have yet to see more than a couple of sketches. This just changed at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, where Bentley introduced the Grand Convertible, a full-size, drop-top concept car based on the Mulsanne.

Although Bentley had nothing to say about possible plans to put the Grand Convertible in production, the concept looks ready to hit the assembly line and we have reason to believe the Brits are finally rolling out a replacement for the Azure. We’ll be on the lookout to find out more about what Bentley intends to do with it, but in the meantime let’s have a closer look at the Grand Convertible or the company’s first full-size cabriolet in five years.

Click past the jump to read more about the Bentley Grand Convertible.

  • 2015 Bentley Grand Convertible Concept
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    530
  • Torque @ RPM:
    811
  • Displacement:
    6.75 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.8 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    190 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    350000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 Bentley Grand Convertible Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 578042
The latter doesn't include the Mulsanne's fog lamps, but they might as well appear on a production model.

Although it doesn’t wear the Mulsanne moniker, the Grand Convertible is all Mulsanne when it comes to styling. Sure, it misses the rear doors and it sports a shorter wheelbase, but, other than that, the Grand Convertible is a Mulsanne front to rear. The front fascia is essentially identical. The headlamp configuration, the massive front grille and the bumper are exactly the same. The latter doesn’t include the Mulsanne’s fog lamps, but they might as well appear on a production model. The same goes for the rear end and the sides, with nearly every single detail found on the Mulsanne seen on the convertible as well, including the side-sill chrome strips, the door handles, the side mirrors or the sculpted rear fenders.

Things are a bit different when it comes to the exterior paint. Finished in Sequin Blue, a striking, bespoke color not available with the regular Mulsanne, the Grand Convertible had its hood and windscreen frame painted in silver. The approach is quite similar to what Rolls-Royce does with most of its vehicles, including the Phantom Drophead Coupe, which usually features a silver hood to go with the massive chrome grille.

Rounding off the concept’s unique look is a set of five-spoke wheels polished to a high shine.

Interior

2015 Bentley Grand Convertible Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 578041
Most of the dashboard is made from dark-stained Burr Walnut, as are the top of the doors and the rear deck.

The Grand Convertible’s interior is downright impressive. The Brits used no less than 14 naturally tanned leather hides throughout the cabin, as well as a unique diamond quilting layout on the seats and the door panels. Bright-blue inserts and Sequin Blue stitching adds a dash of color to the otherwise light-colored interior.

Most of the dashboard is made from dark-stained Burr Walnut, as are the top of the doors and the rear deck. The latter, which also features a mirror finish and chrome inserts is the largest piece of wood veneer ever applied to a Bentley vehicle. Much like the exterior, the interior also looks production ready, albeit massively expensive considering the amount of luxury amenities.

Drivetrain

Motivating the Grand Convertible concept is the same twin-turbocharged, 6.75-liter, V-8 engine found in the Mulsanne four-door and other Bentleys. The output, however, suggests the Brits went for slightly tweaked version that debuted in the Mulsanne Speed, a strategy that makes a lot of sense considering the Grand Convertible is supposed to be sportier than its four-door siblings.

Specifically, the said V-8 cranks out 530 horsepower and a massive 811 pound-feet of torque at only 1,750 rpm. That’s more torque than you get with the Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG or the Koenigsegg CCX. In fact, the Grand Convertible is right on par with the Koenigsegg Agera at 811 pound-feet. Amazing!

Bentley did not release any performance specs for the concept car, but considering the Mulsanne Speed needs 4.8 seconds to charge from naught to 60 mph, we figure the Grand Convertible should be able to hit 60 mph in about the same time. Top speed is likely set at 190 mph, making this car one of the fastest luxury convertibles. One more reason for Bentley to turn the concept into a production vehicle.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type 6.75-liter twin-turbo V-8
Output 530 HP
Torque 811 LB-FT

Prices

2015 Bentley Grand Convertible Concept Exterior
- image 578044

It’s too early to talk about prices for the Grand Convertible considering we’re looking at a concept car, but we expect the production vehicle to become the most expensive Mulsanne ever built. With the regular sedan retailing from $306,425, the Grand Convertible should fetch in excess of $340,000.

Competitors

Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe

2013 Roll Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe Series II High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 441617

Introduced at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe arrived just in time to compete against the then new Bentley Azure. While the latter took its last breath in 2009, the Rolls soldiered on as the most luxurious convertible on the market.

Much like the four-door Phantom, the Drophead Coupe comes with acres of high-grade leather throughout its cabin, Rolls-Royce’s latest in terms of technology and a massive amount of customization options, including no less than 44,000 exterior color combinations. Additionally, the company’s Bespoke division enables customers to create unique examples tailored to their own specifications.

Powering the Phantom Drophead Coupe is a 6.75-liter V-12 engine rated at 453 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque, which is routed to the wheels through a ZF, eight-speed automatic transmission. The combo enables the Drophead Coupe to hit 60 mph from a standing start in 5.7 seconds, before reaching a top speed of 149 mph. Although slower than the Bentley Grand Convertible, the Rolls-Royce is a lot more expensive, retailing from $435,000 before options. Take it to Bespoke for some unique features and the sticker can jump beyond $500K.

Conclusion

2015 Bentley Grand Convertible Concept Exterior
- image 578043

I always knew the Mulsanne would look awesome as a convertible, and the Grand Convertible comes to prove just that. Given the type of customers it’s aiming at, Bentley desperately needs a competitor for the Drophead Coupe and I dare say this concept car came a little late. Fortunately, this is a case of "better late than never" and it seems Bentley is now paying more attention to the customers it had lost to Rolls-Royce over the past five year. The Grand Convertible seems to have what it takes to compete against the Drophead Coupe and the Brits should start thinking about a production version if they know what’s best for their business.

  • Leave it
    • Just a concept for now
    • Likely very expensive
    • Could use a few unique exterior bits

Press Release

The ultimate expression of British automotive luxury is imagined with the Bentley Grand Convertible, the most sophisticated open-top car ever created by Bentley. Iconic yet understated in style and fashioned entirely by hand from the very finest materials, this unrivalled flagship of luxury represents the ultimate in powerful, sensuous roofless motoring.

2015 Bentley Grand Convertible Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 578042

Bentley Chairman and CEO, Wolfgang Dürheimer, who unveiled the car in Los Angeles, commented:

“This concept demonstrates Bentley’s ability to create a pinnacle convertible Grand Tourer, while embodying elegance beyond compare. With this car we combine the opulent Mulsanne experience with the full sensory indulgence of open-air touring, continuing to unite luxury and performance in new ways.

“We are eagerly awaiting the response of our customers to this car. We will ensure that this car - if it reaches the roads – will be a highly exclusive, extremely limited collector’s piece.”

2015 Bentley Grand Convertible Concept Exterior
- image 578044

The Bentley Grand Convertible will be on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show from 19th November 2014.

Powerful, Refined, Exquisite

Resplendent in Sequin Blue, originally a bespoke colour created from a single sequin from a customer’s haute couture gown, the Grand Convertible features a silver “liquid metal” finish to the bonnet and windscreen frame. Contrasting the rich blue body work is the Bentley directional wheel design, handed to the left and right sides of the car and finished by hand before being polished to a high shine.

The wheels hint at the enormous power and torque that wait under the bonnet. With 537 PS (530 bhp / 395 kW) and 1,100 Nm (811 lb.ft) of torque from Bentley’s legendary 6¾-litre twin-turbo V8 engine of the flagship Mulsanne, the Grand Convertible promises the luxury of effortless performance to match its unparalleled style.

As cossetting as it is breath-taking, the interior of the Grand Convertible is a showcase for the abilities of Bentley’s master craftsmen. 14 naturally tanned leather hides are merged together with progressive-diamond quilting, with the shape of the pattern changing over the seats and doors in a cabin sized for four adults. Bright blue is used to highlight the extraordinary skill of Bentley’s trim specialists, with Sequin Blue thread cross-stitched by hand through the linen-coloured leather. The light hide is contrasted by the sleek elegance of Beluga leather around the top of the doors and extending back to the rear tonneau, framed in polished chrome.

2015 Bentley Grand Convertible Concept Exterior
- image 578045

The tonneau itself provides the most significant example of Bentley craftsmanship at its finest. Replete with book-matched, mirror-finished and dark-stained Burr Walnut, the tonneau features the largest piece of wood veneer ever applied to a Bentley. Fashioned entirely by hand, this expanse of veneer is only paralleled by the creations of the world’s best furniture makers, and is finished with elegant parallel lines of chromed steel.

Following the Los Angeles Auto Show, in December the Grand Convertible will travel to Miami for Art Basel, the world’s premier international art show for Modern and contemporary work.

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