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by Tim Beissmann

Bentley appears poised to launch its most luxurious drop-top in history following the release of early design sketches of the Bentley Mulsanne Convertible concept.

Revealed three years after the original unveiling of the Bentley Mulsanne limousine at the 2009 Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach, California, the Crewe, England-based manufacturer says the upcoming concept will be the “most elegant and sophisticated” convertible in the world.

Based on the $662,857 Mulsanne, Bentley says the flagship convertible is envisioned for automotive connoisseurs seeking the ultimate in exclusivity and design, providing four occupants a powerful and refined luxury grand touring experience.

The sketches confirm the Mulsanne Convertible will share its fundamental design with the hardtop, featuring an upright grille and prominent bonnet ornament, heavily raked windscreen, flowing profile lines, muscular rear haunches and a long rear overhang.

With two fewer doors and a retractable fabric roof, however, the Mulsanne Convertible promises an even sleeker profile than the saloon either with the roof fixed or folded away.

Bentley says the “spacious yet intimate” cabin has been inspired by high-performance powerboats, and will combine an unprecedented level of contemporary styling, supreme refinement and painstaking attention to detail.

Bentley chairman and CEO Wolfgang Durheimer said the Mulsanne saloon provided “the perfect foundation on which to create the world’s most elegant convertible”.

“The convertible concept will extend the appeal of the Mulsanne family, while enhancing the profile of the Bentley brand, particularly in new and emerging markets.”

While stopping short of confirming a production version of the Bentley Mulsanne Convertible, it appears only a matter of time before the soft-top version is added to the top of the luxury car maker’s global line-up.

The Mulsanne Convertible is expected to inherit the 377kW/1020Nm 6.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine from the four-door, which is capable of launching the 2.5-tonne land yacht from 0-100km/h in 5.3 seconds.




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