Bentley’s Mulsanne flagship might lose its lid after all

Bentley Grand Convertible
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.

Read more: Bentley’s engineering boss explains the Bentayga, and what’s next

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.

Cars

Watch as Volkswagen’s ID R racer wins the ultimate EV bragging rights

The Volkswagen ID R has set a lap record for electric cars at Germany's Nürburgring Nordschleife. The electric race car's lap time of 6 minutes, 5.33 seconds beat the previous record by 40 seconds.
Outdoors

The best smart helmets are full of cool tech, and totally worth the messy hair

Helmets might be a haircut's worst nightmare, but they're constantly evolving, and have undergone a 21st-century makeover. No matter your sport, here are the best smart helmets currently on the market.
Computing

AMD's latest RX 5000 Navi graphics cards are incoming. Here's what to expect

AMD unveiled its first three Radeon RX 5000 GPUs: The RX 5700, Rx 5700 XT, and RX 5700 XT 50th Anniversary Edition. Starting at $379, these GPUs are designed on AMD's new Navi architecture to take on Nvidia's RTX 2070 graphics.
Cars

Bentley Flying Spur aims to balance old-school luxury with modern agility

Good news, business tycoons: The new 2020 Bentley Flying Spur is here. Positioned below the flagship Mulsanne, the Flying Spur gets upgrades already seen on the Continental GT, as well as a model-specific all-wheel steering system.
Cars

Garmin DriveSmart 65 puts Alexa in your car and tells you where to go

Garmin just upped its dashboard game by integrating Amazon Alexa with DriveSmart 65, the company's top-of-the-line, voice-controlled navigator. Drivers can access two digital voice assistants in the same device: Garmin voice and Alexa.
Cars

Ford recalls 1.3 million Explorer and F-150 vehicles over safety issues

Ford announced multiple safety recalls on Wednesday, June 12, the largest of which affects 1.2 million Explorer SUVs over an issue with the suspension that has the potential to affect steering control.
Product Review

The last American midsize plug-in hybrid is being squeezed out of existence

The 2019 Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid can’t catch a break. Ford is planning to discontinue production next year, but looming tariffs could spell doom for an otherwise comfortable and very economically sensible sedan.
Cars

Here’s why BMW mechanics now carry smartglasses in their tool chest

BMW technicians in the United States have started wearing smartglasses, and it's not because they're shooting alien ships between oil changes. They use augmented reality technology to access workshop manuals.
Cars

Will Detroit be the ultimate test for Argo A.I.’s self-driving Ford?

Ford-backed Argo A.I. revealed its third-generation autonomous prototype in Detroit. Based on the Ford Fusion Hybrid, the car is fitted with technology that sees better and further, thinks faster, and is more comfortable to ride in.
Cars

Tesla screens may support YouTube with next software update

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced today at E3 that the infotainment screens will support YouTube video streaming very soon. This most likely lines up with the latest software update that is expected later this year.
Cars

Volvo has created an autonomous truck that looks like a sports car

Volvo’s autonomous truck, called Vera, is about to start work at a Swedish port. The vehicle has a modest top speed of 25 mph and features a striking design that makes it look as if the usual cab has been swapped for a sports car.
Cars

Florida allows autonomous cars to drive on its roads without human supervision

Florida governor Ron DeSantis passed a law that establishes a legal framework for self-driving cars to operate within the state. It allows car and tech companies to test self-driving cars without a human operator behind the wheel.
Cars

New Toyota tech will automatically shut off engines, apply parking brakes

Toyota is launching two new safety features for the 2020 model year. One will automatically shut off a car's engine when stationary, and the other will automatically shift into park and apply the parking brake to prevent rollaways.
Cars

Aston Martin will put its Valkyrie hybrid hypercar to the ultimate test

The Aston Martin Valkyrie will race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2021. Aston Martin is taking advantage of new rules that encourage automakers to bring their fastest hypercars to the legendary French race.