WITH PAINT originally developed for one of its customers to match a sequin on her haute couture ball gown and a tonneau roof cover that is the largest piece of wood veneer yet fitted to one of its cars, the new Grand convertible from Bentley certainly lives up to its name.
Unveiled as a concept car this week at the Los Angeles motor show, the Grand convertible is about as opulent as open-top motoring gets. If enough of the world’s richest 1% like what they see, Bentley says the car will go into limited production.
What else is there to tickle the fancy of the world’s most minted motorists? Try diamond-quilted, naturally tanned leather lining the four-seat cabin, with contrasting cross-stitching to match the Sequin Blue exterior paint tone.
The bodywork is complemented by the “liquid metal” finish of the bonnet and windscreen frame, and the highly polished wheels.
While the interior takes 14 hides to upholster, the tonneau that covers the lowered hood takes a good proportion of a walnut tree, dark-stained, mirror-finished and trimmed with chromed steel.
The Grand convertible is propelled by the Mulsanne’s 6.8-litre twin-turbo V8, which musters 530bhp and 811 lb ft of torque. Bentley has not yet released performance statistics, but let’s assume it’s quick enough to whisk passengers to their usual table at the Cap d’Antibes’ best restaurant in good time.
Wolfgang Dürheimer, Bentley’s chairman and chief executive, is open-minded about whether the car will go into production: “We are eagerly awaiting the response of our customers,” he said. “We will ensure that this car – if it reaches the roads – will be a highly exclusive, extremely limited collector’s piece.”
Bentley’s convertible models continue to fetch suitably exclusive prices second hand. Azure drop-tops start at about £55,000, with 2006-7 cars going for between £90,000 and £130,000, depending on specification, mileage and condition.