Well-to-do customers can spec their Bentleys with a plethora of goodies ranging from exotic wood trims, massaging seats and an endless palette of colours — but it has taken the carmaker 100 years to offer them a roof made from one of the most typically British materials... tweed!
Ahead of marking its centenary in the New Year, the third-gen Continental Grand Tourer ditches the roof producing a powerful new wind-in the hair cabriolet which is 20 per cent lighter and five per cent stiffer than before and can hit 100kph from rest in just 3.8 seconds. The 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12 is mated to an eight-speed dual clutch automatic and produces 626bhp, 900Nm of torque and has a top speed of 333kph — but the big news is that aforementioned roof.
To be clear, it is a “contemporary interpretation of traditional British tweed,” meaning it looks like tweed but is still the kind of material that’s good for car roofs. Available in seven different colours, it can be deployed at speeds of 50kph and takes 19 seconds to open and close.
The Bentley’s elegant exterior styling is accented with muscular, sculptural lines while the grille is flanked by larger LED Matrix headlights (it also has new taillights) while it rides on a set of 21in Five Tri-Spoke wheels (22’s are optional).
The luxurious handcrafted interior features a neck warmer but the highlight is the Bentley Rotating Display; the three-sided 12.3in infotainment touchscreen can rotate to show an extension of the dash, the display, or three analogue dials — a chronometer, a compass, and a thermometer. That’s cool — but we still can’t get over that tweed roof!