Car Review: 2017 Bentley Mulsanne Convertible

Bentley’s CEO, Wolfgang Duerheimer, has made it clear a convertible version of the Bentley Convertible Mulsanne will happen. In fact, he says we can expect to see a production-ready version at an auto show in late 2016, perhaps even at the LA Auto Show.
‎‎“Wait for the next motor shows to come and what we have to announce, but I can tell you that we are taking close care about the Mulsanne,” Duerheimer told Automobile Magazine. “Mulsanne will get further derivatives, and we are going to enlarge this beautiful flagship model line.”

That news means more after understand the back story. Duerheimer served as the Chairman and CEO of Bentley between 2010 and 2012. At that point. Another Wolfgang took over – Wolfgang Schreiber. Upon Schreiber’s arival, he killed off Duerheimer’s plans to create a drop-top version of the Mulsanne, saying it merely had “just a regional demand” and lacked a strong business case.

Well the tables turned and Schreiber’s position at Bentley was handed back to Duerheimer in 2012. Returning to his former position, Duerheimer toldAutomotive News, “When I returned, I was a bit irritated by the fat that no work had been done on this project in two years.”

Since that time in 2012, Duerheimer and his team at Bentley have been working to develop the high-end convertible. It’s even confirmed that Bentley dealers are already taking orders for the car.

If all holds true, the Mulsanne Grand Convertible should hit showrooms in mid to late 2017.

Big, elegant, stately, posh, ostentatious – All adequate words to describe the Mulsanne Convertible, or at least the 2015 Benley Grand Convertible ‎version. Make no mistake, that’s exactly how Bentley wants it. This car is supposed to exude wealth from every nut and bolt.

Though the production version of the Mulsanne Convertible has yet to be seen, the Grand Convertible concept should give us a solid look at what we can expect. In order to gain the soft top, Bentley subtracts the rear doors from the Mulsanne and lengthens the front doors.

The grille and headlight designs should stay the same between the sedan and convertible, though there is a possibility of both getting an update before the 2017 drop-top hits showrooms.

Interior

Bentley Grand Convertible Concept

Note: 2015 Bentley Grand Convertible Concept interior.

Those same words used to describe the exterior work just as well when describing the cabin of the Grand Convertible concept. Similarly, we can expect Bentley’s production version of the Mulsanne convertible to look like the Grand Convertible concept.

That means the leather-wrapped interior will have fluffy diamond quilting with French stitching along every seam. The dash and tonneau cover will be carved from burled walnut of the finest quality with inlaid metal accents. In the usual fair, the dashboard will have a tidy design with most of the switchgear located down low on the center console. Expect the gauge cluster to resemble a fine wrist watch, as well.

The power-operated soft top will undoubtedly be well insulated, making the interior dead quiet when traveling with the top in place. This will also guard the interior from changing weather conditions.

Drivetrain

Under the mile-long bonnet (because a car this proper doesn’t have a hood) is the familiar 6.75-liter V-8 with its twin-turbo setup. The monster pushes 530 horsepower and a whopping 811 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission sourced from ZF.

Since this is the same powertrain used in the 2015 Bentley convertible mulsanne – a car that can hit 60 mph in 4.8 seconds – we’d expect no less performance form the Mulsanne Convertible.

Prices

The Mulsanne convertible will fall squarely in the category of “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.” But lets say you simply needed to know the amount to jot down on the check. It is still early to speculate with certainty, but Bentley will likely charge around $350,000 to 400,000 for the privilege of ownership.

Competitors

2008 ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM DROPHEAD COUPE
bentley-mulsanne-vis-2_800x0w

Like the Hatfields and McCoys, Bentley has been feuding with Rolls-Royce for dominance in the über luxury segment longer than anyone can remember. The Phantom Drophead Coupe will lead the fight against the Mulsanne convertible, and like the Mulsanne, is a two-door, convertible version of a full-size, four-door sedan.

The Rolls is fitted with only the finest materials within its cabin, and offers an impressive 44,000 exterior color combinations. Customers can even order their Phantom Drophead through Rolls-Royce’s Bespoke division, allowing even further customization.

Power comes from a 6.75-liter V=12 that kicks out 453 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque, while an eight-speed automatic sends power to the rear wheels. The Drophead Coupe will hit 60 mph in 5.7 seconds an reach a top speed of 149 mph. Prices for the Rolls start around $435,000 and escalate quickly with added options.

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Conclusion

The Bentley Mulsanne convertible will undoubtedly be the newest and most esteemed convertible on the market once it hits showrooms. For those who can afford it, the car will offer the power of a sports car with the luxury known only to come from high-end automakers, all with the open view of the sky thanks to the power-folding top.

The Mulsanne convertible certainly won’t win any awards for being practical, but it will win over the hearts (and Bentley hopes the pocketbooks) of those who desire something different and bold.

Be sure to stay tuned as we’ll be providing updates here as information becomes available.
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