THE concept of personalisation reaches a new level with the Tweed Hood of the all-new Bentley Continental GT Convertible. For lovers of classic heritage with a twist, the individual option of a new colour hood harmony has been created by two ‘solid’ tones which together form a dynamic partnership.
Today’s Tweed is a glorious combination of the old and the new: it offers a redefined version of a treasured fabric designed to appeal to modern lovers of texture and colour as well as to discerning customers for whom it conjures up long, luxurious drives, and relaxing country pursuits.
Tweed enhances personalisation as part of a suite of paint, veneer and lifestyle options for the Continental GT Convertible that is virtually limitless.
Contemporary yet remaining respectful of the weaving tradition, the balance of yarn colours and a unique look defines a new interpretation of the fabric and provides a distinctive aspect to the pinnacle Continental GT Convertible.
The development of the new Tweed Hood went hand in hand with the creation of the interior and exterior colours of the GTC. The standard palette alone comprises 17 exterior paint colours, with up to 45 hues available in the extended range. There are also 15 luxurious carpet options, eight different handcrafted veneers (with a further four dual veneer options) and 15 choices of interior trim hide, which means that customers are able to specify their own choice of luxury finish.
Seven exterior roof colours are available in total, including the Tweed specification. On all models the unique Z-fold convertible roof system represents a major improvement both in terms of refinement and packaging. The roof, with its sealing system improvements and acoustic treatments, contributes to a three-decibel reduction in overall noise levels compared to its predecessor at typical cruising speeds.
Cathy Bass, Colour and Trim designer, comments: “We wanted to create something that hadn’t been done before and we had never seen a Tweed effect hood. We felt confident that tailoring and heritage fabrics would become a significant trend with longevity, and we decided that was the right direction to pursue.”
From initial research into an archive sample of fabrics the Colour and Trim team at Bentley’s headquarters in Crewe, England, was aware of how it captured the essence of modern retro tailoring together with a contemporary and edgy energy created by the contrast of the dark brown and cream yarns.
“It was an intuitive sense that this was exactly what I was looking for,” says Bass, “the only problem was that it was made with completely the wrong weave structure as our hood material has a very specific woven construction to meet technical and engineering requirements.”
The task of trying to recreate the Tweed effect within the production construction parameters was no easy feat, but working closely with Bentley’s hood manufacturer the key element of balance of colour and contrast between the dark brown and cream was finally achieved to deliver a true Tweed feeling.
“We went through many rounds of dying both of the yarns,” notes Bass, “before we found the right combination.”
As you get close to the Tweed Hood, it changes from what looks like a dark beige to reveal the interesting technical woven strands in the fabric. Whatever hood option a customer chooses, the tailored Convertible roof can be deployed or stowed in just 19 seconds, with the car travelling at speeds of up to 30 mph (50 km/h). This transforms the Continental GT Convertible from a luxurious coupe into an open-top Grand Tourer at the touch of a button, the very essence of Bentley.
Fully revealed to the world when the elegant hood is down, the exquisite interior of the Continental GT Convertible is a showcase for Bentley’s unrivalled expertise in the use of natural materials. From the highest-quality leathers, to rare, sustainably sourced veneers, such as Koa and Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus, the cabin is a triumph of craftsmanship and artisanal skill. Unique dual-veneer is offered, with over 10 square metres of wood used in every car. An additional option for customers is the choice of a polished wooden steering wheel too.
The Continental GT Convertible heightens the sensory experience of open-air motoring with exhilarating performance. A powerful 6.0-litre Bentley W12 engine is mated to a dual-clutch eight-speed transmission.
Elegant, sophisticated and refined, the all-new Continental GT Convertible is the pinnacle of open-top luxury Grand Touring.