Bentley is considering expanding the Mulsanne lineup with an ultra-exclusive topless model.
The company has toyed around with the idea of chopping off the Mulsanne’s roof before. It showed a small group of hand-picked customers what a topless Mulsanne could look like during the 2012 edition of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The model was well received, but it was deep-sixed shortly after by Bentley’s then-new CEO due to a perceived lack of demand outside of major markets like the United States.
The man who pioneered the topless Mulsanne is back at the top of Bentley after a short hiatus, and a new report finds that the convertible is back on track for production. There’s a catch, however. The ragtop was initially slated to join the Bentley lineup as a regular-production model, but production figures have been scaled back considerably.
“Such a model would be built in [a batch of] 20 units and sold to absolute connoisseurs at a very high price,” revealed Bentley boss Wolfgang Dürheimer in an interview with Car & Driver.
If approved, the 20 examples will be built by hand by Mulliner, Bentley’s in-house coach builder. It will be a two-door model like the Grand Convertible concept (pictured), and it will use a conventional cloth soft top. Bentley has a long history of building convertibles, but the flagship Mulsanne has exclusively been offered as a hardtop since its launch in 2010.
Power for the Mulsanne convertible will undoubtedly come from Bentley’s historic 6.75-liter V8 engine. Whether it will be tuned to 505 horsepower, as in the standard Mulsanne, or 530 horses, as in the Mulsanne Speed, is up in the air at this point. Regardless, an eight-speed automatic transmission will send the eight’s output to the rear wheels.
Bentley is still debating whether to move forward with the convertible Mulsanne. If it gets the green light for production, it will launch in the next two years with a base price that’s expected to lie in the vicinity of £1 million, a sum that converts to roughly $1.5 million at the current conversion rate. For connoisseurs, indeed.