Bentley Mulsanne Convertible Concept: A true land yacht

Bentley Mulsanne Convertible Concept teaser imageSummer may be winding down, but that hasn’t stopped carmakers from rolling out some exquisite convertibles. Last week, BMW showed its Zagato Roadster concept, and now Bentley is revealing the Mulsanne Convertible Concept, a drop-top version of its flagship sedan.

A Mulsanne Convertible is a no-brainer, since Bentley needs a car to compete with the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe, and to replace the old Azure. Bentley believes the Mulsanne will surpass both cars and become “the world’s most elegant and sophisticated convertible.”

Like the Phantom Drophead, the Mulsanne Convertible Concept shares its bank vault-esque front end and its chassis with its sedan sibling. Bentley tried to accentuate the convertible version’s two-door form though. A curved character line above the rear wheel is reminiscent of the fenders on the Continental S1 Park Ward Drophead Coupe in the background of Bentley’s teaser image. The windshield also has an aggressive rake, giving the car a sportier feel.

Cars of this size are usually compared to boats and, this time, that’s exactly what its maker wants. Bentley’s designers apparently used high-performance power boats as inspiration for the Mulsanne Convertible’s interior.

“The modern, luxurious, high-tech Mulsanne saloon provides a perfect foundation on which to create the world’s most elegant convertible,” Bentley CEO Wolfgang Durheimer said, and he’s right. The company’s top sedan sports a 6.75-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 that churns out 505 horsepower and 752 pound-feet of torque.

Coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission, that gets the 5,700 pound Mulsanne to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds, and on to a top speed of 184 mph. It does that while coddling its occupants in the finest British luxury, all for around $290,000.

The Mulsanne Convertible is officially a concept car but, given its resemblance to the Mulsanne sedan and Bentley’s need to replace the Azure, it seems likely that it will enter production soon. Bentley was chatting up potential customers at the Pebble Beach Concours last weekend, so a few deposits may have already been accepted.