BENTLEY’S LATEST TRIBE OF SLICED-TOP CONTINENTALS TAKE ON THE OPEN ROAD WITH VIGOR AND VERVE
BY AMANDA MCCOY
BENTLEY IS DOUBLING DOWN ON SUSTAINABILITY
and the entire Continental range now features carpets and overmats crafted from a new, eco-friendly fabric called Econyl, made from 100% recycled materials, including reclaimed ﬁshing nets.
It takes a mere nineteen seconds to feel the wind in your hair, even when the car is in motion (up to 30mph). The four-layer roof stows away seamlessly to preserve the tourer’s super-svelte silhouette, but once raised, thick insulation and a Pirelli Noise Cancellation System ensure a whisper-quiet, coupe-like ride.
If the essence of summer could be captured in a singular image, it would likely feature a drop-top grand tourer floating down a far-flung coastal highway, sun beaming, hair whipped by the ocean breeze. Bentley is a progenitor of the long-distance cruise (the R Type Continental was a groundbreaking concept when it debuted in 1952, achieving a then-wild feat of cruising comfortably at 100mph before Europe even had a modern road network), and late this spring, the British super-marque commemorated the dawn of top-down weather with the announcement of a string of updates for its flagship convertible: the 2024 Continental family (its fixed-roof brethren are also enjoying facelifts of their own).
The luxury maker’s Continental GT first debuted in 2003, with the convertible following two years later, billed as a powerful yet deeply luxurious long-haul rider dedicated to the journey over the destination. Two decades later, the platoon has expanded into multiple flavors of Continental, with six different trims available for the convertible alone. For those seduced by the thunderous growl of Bentley’s famed twin-turbocharged W12 block, Speed and Mulliner variants boast 650 horsepower along with 663 lb.-ft. of torque, rocketing from 0-60 in 3.6 seconds. The smaller V8, which feeds the comfort-centric GTC models, still commands a meaty 542 ponies and four-second 0-60 time.
THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE CHROME
and the Azure’s new grille design features bright chrome vertical vanes resting in front of a black mesh grille. It’s joined by a chrome-clad grille surround, lower bumper grilles, wing vents, and badging for an ultra-sleek new ‘do that will sparkle in the summer sun.
INTERIOR CREATURE COMFORTS ABOUND,
including 22-way heated, ventilated, and massaging leather seats (even the bolsters can be adjusted). When summer inevitably ends, seat-installed neck warmers extend top-down weather by keeping the body warm and toasty even in colder temps.
A SUITE OF AVAILABLE DRIVER-ASSISTED TECH
includes adaptive cruise control, lane assist, head-up display, top view camera, park assist, and trafﬁ c sign recognition.
Forthcoming updates span fresh styling upgrades inside the cabin and out, including 22-inch black-painted wheels on the Azure (borrowed from the Flying Spur), a revamped vertical front grille loaded with chrome, and a jazzy lofted quilted pattern on the seats, which the maker purports helps create a sense of calm and well-being. Another novelty for 2024 is the addition of the striking Topaz Blue colorway, a shimmering metallic tur-quoise-blue that cloaks the exterior in the Mediterranean (pictured above). It’s available across the model range, joining a catalog of 80-plus shades – and that’s just for the exterior paint. Pilots can also personalize their interior palettes. Official pricing for 2024 had yet to be released at press time, but estimates put it around $260,000.