Good to see the Bentley concept at today’s LA motor show. Just in case you haven’t already read the story, it’s called the Bentley Grand Convertible concept and is a Mulsanne soft-top in an all-but name.
So a range-topping open-top harking back to the Continentals from a few years back, and any number of super luxury soft-tops before that.
If memory serves, we were talking about the prospect of this car with Bentley high-ups even before the Mulsanne saloon was officially launched. And if I recall properly one explanation for not doing it was because Bentley had higher priorities, namely the need to do an SUV.
The Mulsanne, you may remember, was the parting shot of ex-chief executive officer Franz-Josef Paefgen, who was also famously anti-SUV. So you may suppose that current boss Wolfgang Dürheimer took a new broom approach to all tinkering with the Mulsanne in order to push his SUV forward.
So it’s good news that Bentley’s dusting off the open-top Mulsanne. Personally I’m no great apologist for the Mulsanne – especially the way it looks – but it’s right and proper that Bentley should be producing ultra-high-end cars as well as planning more ‘popular’ models.
Likewise, just as Porsche’s bedrock is extreme sports cars, justifying any other direction it cares to take, so Bentley can be free to sell SUVs and any other future models by continuing to pursue automotive ultimates.
So should Bentley make the Mulsanne Convertible despite the prospect of only tiny numbers? Absolutely.