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Bentley unveils all-new Continental GT Convertible

by Drew Johnson

The luxury drop top will make its first appearance in LA.

Bentley has lifted the veil on its all-new Continental GT Convertible. The drop top version of the latest Continental Coupe -- which was unveiled last year in Frankfurt -- will debut later this week at a private event during the Los Angeles auto show.

As you'd expect, the Continental GT Convertible is a near carbon copy of its fixed roof counterpart. Like the Coupe, the Conti convertible boasts new flowing body work, a thoroughly revamped interior and a powertrain worthy of the Bentley Flying B.

Of course the Continental GT Convertible is distinguished by a folding soft top. Bentley says the GT's roof can be raised or lowered in 19 seconds at speeds up to 30mph. Buyers will have the choice of seven different roof colors -- including a tweed finish -- along with eight interior roof finishes.

Bentley has also re-engineered the Continental GT Convertible's roof to be quieter than before. Thanks to the new design that includes more insulation, the cabin of the new Continental GT Convertible is actually as quite as the previous Continental GT Coupe.

The Continental GT Convertible's interior is beautifully appointed with the finest leather hides and more than 10 square feet of wood. There's also a new technical finish on offer that features the kind of machined aluminum that's typically reserved for Swiss watches.

Despite its old-world luxury, the Continental GT Convertible has plenty of cutting-edge tech. The convertible's gauge cluster is now all-digital, and there's a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system located in the center stack. At least that's where it's located until you decide otherwise; the infotainment screen is mounted on a three-side panel that can be rotated to show three analog gauges or a wood veneer that blends in with the rest of the dash.

On the powertrain front, the Continental GT Convertible use a 6.0L W12 mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Output stands at 626 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque, which is good for a 0-60 time of 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 207mph.

In order to keep everything in control at those speeds, the Continental GT Convertible uses the same 48-volt roll control system found in the Coupe that can electronically actuate the anti-roll bars at each axle for better handling control. And when you really need to rein things in, you can rely on the Continental GT Convertible's 10-piston front brakes.

Bentley has not announced pricing or an on-sale date for the new Continental GT Convertible.