‘Exclusive’ doesn’t begin to describe the Bentley Mulsanne Grand Convertible

It looks like Bentley will transform its Mulsanne flagship into a convertible after all — but there’s a catch. Tentatively named Grand Convertible, the cabriolet will arrive as a super-rare and ultra-exclusive limited-edition model developed for the world’s most discerning collectors.

Visitors to the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show got to see the Grand Convertible as a close-to-production concept (pictured), so they know it blurs the line between a car and a piece of art with its British flair. It’s based on the Mulsanne, one of the most exquisite cars money can buy, but it loses a pair of doors and several inches of sheet metal between the axles. The four-seater configuration remains, however.

One of the Grand Convertible’s most distinct features is the burr walnut tonneau cover that hides the power-operated cloth soft top. It’s mirror-finished and dark-stained, according to Motor Authority, and it’s the biggest piece of wood ever used in a Bentley. The publication notes that the striking design feature is inspired by the luxury powerboats, which we suspect the Grand Convertible will rub elbows with on a regular basis. If there was even an official car for Saint Tropez, this is it.

Future owners will have the opportunity to work directly with Bentley’s Mulliner coach-building division to design every aspect of their car, including the two-tone paint job and the leather-draped interior. This process ensures no two examples will be identical, unless they’re both purchased by a collector who specifically requests matching cars. Turning the Mulsanne into a coupe isn’t currently in the works, but Mulliner is open to taking on special projects provided the client is capable of funding it. It notably turned the Mulsanne into a custom limousine a couple of years ago.

Technical specifications haven’t been released yet. The four-door Mulsanne uses the brand’s signature twin-turbocharged, 6.75-liter V8 engine, which makes 530 horsepower and a mighty 811 pound-feet of torque in its most powerful configuration. It spins the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Bentley will build just 19 examples of the Grand Convertible, a number chosen because the company was founded in 1919. Motor Authority believes pricing will start in the vicinity of $3.5 million, a figure that makes it roughly $3 million more expensive than the vehicle it’s based on. That’s the price to pay for a custom-designed, handbuilt, low-volume model. But even if you’re ready to spend that kind of money, you might not be able to add one to your collection because Bentley is selling the model by invitation only.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Movies & TV

Stranger Things season 3 teaser proclaims it's almost feeding time in Hawkins

With a sophomore season as strong as its first, Stranger Things is now moving on to season 3. Here's everything we've learned so far about the Netflix series' upcoming third season, premiering in July 2019.
Cars

Bentley’s 542-horsepower Continental GT V8 is the best kind of downsizing

The Bentley Continental GT V8 has fewer cylinders than its W12 sibling, but Bentley expects it to offer better gas mileage and more agile handling. The V8's top speed of 198 mph is also pretty darn fast.
Cars

Adventurous and electric, Porsche’s second station wagon will arrive in 2020

The Mission E Cross Turismo concept Porsche unveiled during the 2018 Geneva Auto Show will morph into a production model tentatively named Taycan Cross Turismo. This 600-horsepower electric station wagon will arrive in showrooms by 2021.
Emerging Tech

Don’t get burned! How to back crowdfunding projects the smart way

In the world of crowdfunding, there’s no such thing as a sure thing. There's a million reasons why a project might fail. But with this handy guide, you'll be able to spot the signs of a sketchy project and decrease your chances of getting…
Cars

Fisker plans sub-$40,000 electric SUV with 300 miles of range for 2021

Fisker Inc. plans to launch an electric SUV with a base price of under $40,000, and a range of around 300 miles in 2021. The unnamed vehicle could compete with the Tesla Model Y, if it ever gets into production.
Cars

Mercedes wants to turn your car into a comfortable shopping mall on wheels

Mercedes-Benz designed its MBUX infotainment system with e-commerce in mind. Motorists can upgrade compatible cars via an over-the-air software updating system, but the brand wants to take this technology to the next level.
Cars

Tesla gives us a cryptic look at its cyberpunk, Blade Runner-inspired pickup

Tesla has started designing its long-promised pickup truck. The yet-unnamed model will come with dual-motor all-wheel drive and lots of torque, plus it will be able to park itself. It could make its debut in 2019.
Cars

2020 Cadillac CT5 luxury sedan gets turbocharged power, chiseled looks

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 replaces the CTS in the General Motors luxury brand's lineup. Cadillac will unveil the CT5 at the 2019 New York Auto Show in April. Until then, it's keeping most details under wraps.
Emerging Tech

Racing to catch a flight? Robot valet at French airport will park your car

Hate searching for parking at the airport when you need to catch a plane? Startup Stanley Robotics recently unveiled a new outdoor automated robotic valet system. Here's how it works.
Cars

Nvidia’s new simulator brings virtual learning to autonomous vehicle developers

Nvidia introduced a simulator for testing autonomous vehicle technologies. Drive Constellation is a cloud-based platform technology vendors can use to validate systems efficiently, safely, and much faster than with vehicles on real roads.
Cars

Tesla wirelessly gives the Model 3 a 5-percent increase in power

Tesla again showed the potential of its innovative over-the-air software updating system by making the Model 3 five percent more powerful via a firmware update. The Performance model gained 23 horsepower.
Cars

Fiat wants to transform the cheeky 500 city car into an urban Tesla

Fiat is finally preparing a new 500. Scheduled to make its debut in early 2020, the retro-chic city car will go electric in part to comply with looming emissions regulations.
Cars

Say goodbye to Uber for good: Here's how to cut ties with the ridesharing service

If you thought that deleting the Uber app would also delete your account, think again. You'll have to deactivate your account, then wait 30 days in order to do so. Here, we outlined how to delete your Uber account once and for all.