Hot Performance, Warm Neck

Here’s the deal. You could buy a fine cashmere scarf for $240. Or you could get yourself a new Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible for $240,000. Same result: a toasty-warm neck.

   A splendid feature of this new super-Bentley is a neck warmer that, at the touch of a button, channels hot air through vents in the front seat headrests.

Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible - Detroit Auto Show debut

   Not that you’re likely to need the back of your neck flambé’d here in Florida. But if that’s the case, neither are you likely to make use of the Bentley’s somewhat insane 202 mph top speed. 

   Of course, in both cases, it’s there if you want it.

   Here, quite simply, is the fastest four-seat convertible on the planet. Based closely on last year’s Continental GT Speed Coupé, this new droptop version is motivated by the same 616-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V12.

   Bury the accelerator in the ankle-deep carpet and the Speed will, er, speed from standstill to 60mph in a mere 4.1 seconds. Zero to 100 is dispatched in an equally ridiculous 9.7 seconds.

   By comparison, the 18 seconds it takes for the four-layer fabric top to lower, or levitate, is going to feel like an eternity.

Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible - supercar

   There’s also a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality to this new Speed cabrio. Switch the gear selector to ‘Sport’ mode and suddenly the throttle response becomes even sharper, shifts for the eight-speed auto hang on higher in the rev range, and the exhaust note morphs into that of NASCAR stockcar.

   With the tighter, tauter air suspension from the GT Speed Coupé, a lower ride height compared to the regular GT Convertible, and monster 21-inch alloys at each corner, the car should also corner like it has Velcro for tires.

   Visually, the new Speed droptop comes with dark mesh inserts for the grille and front spoiler, and even bigger elliptical exhaust outlets.

interior of the uber luxury automobile, Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible

   Inside there’s the usual exquisite hand-crafted diamond-quilted leather for the seats plus an exclusive Dark Tint Aluminum ‘engine-spin’ finish on the fascia inspired by the dashboards of the Le Mans-winning Bentleys of the 1920s.

   This newcomer gets its global debut at this week’s Detroit Auto Show and will likely land in the U.S. some time this summer. No official word on pricing, but we’re guessing at close to $240,000.

   Yes, a little more pricey than a cashmere scarf, but considerably more thrilling.

top down on the Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible

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