drive

Bentley Continental
GT Convertible

The World’s Most Beautiful

Grand Tourer

Elegant, sophisticated and refined, the Continental GT Convertible is the pinnacle of open-top luxury motoring, and 2020 marks the first summer that all of Bentley’s key global markets (The Americas, Europe, UK, China, Middle East and Asia Pacific) will receive deliveries of the newest V8 version of Bentley’s convertible Grand Tourer. 

    Beautiful whether with roof open or closed, the Continental GT Convertible’s flowing, elegant exterior styling is accented with muscular proportions and sharp, sculptural lines. The convertible roof sweeps open to reveal an exquisitely handcrafted interior, making this the perfect car for the upcoming summer months.

    The 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). An entirely new combination of roof insulating materials and operating mechanism (a ‘Z-fold’), combined with sealing system improvements and acoustic treatments, have created a Convertible Grand Tourer that is as quiet inside the cabin as the previous generation Continental GT Coupe, with a three-decibel (50%) reduction in overall noise levels compared to its predecessor at typical cruising speeds. Laminated acoustic glass for the windscreen and side windows gives a -9 dbA (88%) improvement at an audio frequency of 3.15 Khz – the typical frequency of passing car noise, and a key part of the audio spectrum to be minimised for maximum comfort.

    With its combination of new insulating materials and an elegant operating mechanism, the roof is the only example of its kind in the world to feature a full tonneau cover.

    Bentley Head of Interior Design, Darren Day, comments: ”A convertible Bentley is the ultimate romantic Grand Tourer. With the soft top lowered one becomes further connected with the elements and surroundings during the journey.

    “From the driver’s seat a fully panoramic view around the car is achieved. The hood stows with no interruptions in the smooth surfaces, under a precise leather-trimmed tonneau cover. This is the area where we can showcase the craftsmanship and skill of our leather trimmers with finely sewn and detailed panels that cover the complex mechanism allowing the hood to stow so efficiently.”

    The Continental GT Convertible is also equipped to keep its occupants comfortable whatever the weather, even with the roof down. The seats feature integrated neck warmers inspired by Bentley’s iconic Bulls-Eye vents, which blow warm air across the neck and shoulders. Three-mode heated seats, a heated hand-stitched steering wheel and even heated arm rests provide warm, soft-touch leather surfaces at every touch-point. Together with an optional, removable wind break that reduces turbulent airflow in the front cabin, all-season open-top grand touring is made possible by these luxurious comfort features.

    Customers can choose from seven exterior roof colours, including - for the first time - a contemporary interpretation of traditional British tweed. Additionally, with eight interior roof liner finishes, up to 56 individual combinations can be chosen to suit a customer’s specification.

 

www.bentleymotors.com

New Forest Summer Staycation

Just a couple of hours drive from London, the New Forest is the perfect destination for a last minute summer escape. Lisa Curtiss packed the Maserati Levante and headed off for a weekend of ponies, picnics, scenic drives and sandy beach strolls.

The route out of town couldn’t be simpler – head south on the M3, past Winchester and Southampton,  switch on to the M27 West and take the turning to Lyndhurst. This attractive village is the main hub of the New Forest and where you’ll find the area’s visitor center and museum. The highly acclaimed and wonderfully located 5-star Lime Wood Hotel & Spa is a short scenic stroll or bike ride away too, heading towards Beaulieu past pretty open heathland scattered with ponies grazing.

    If you choose to take the train rather than drive, Brockenhurst has a mainline station where all trains direct from London Waterloo to Bournemouth, Poole or Weymouth stop.
It’s just a couple of miles away from Lyndhurst and here you’ll find two other excellent places to stay - Careys Manor Hotel & Spa, which  just a short walk from the station, and, tucked in peaceful countryside, The Pig - a 5 minute taxi journey. Chewton Glen is another world class 5-star hotel in the area, located just on the edge of the New Forest nearer the coast.

    No trains for us this time though, as we had a beautifully crafted and luxurious Maserati Levante at our disposal.
A stunning, spacious, great to drive SUV from this stylish sporting marque. With sport mode on, the trip down was a pleasure, and we discovered it’s equally as good on the motorway, as it is sedately taking in the sights on the winding New Forest roads.   It’s certainly a scene stealer - each time we parked up, the Levante seemed to attract more attention from locals and fellow visitors than the wild roaming ponies they come to see. It really is a striking, gloriously designed car – as you’d of course expect from Maserati.

    If you think the New Forest is just acres and acres of trees you’d be mistaken. There are miles of purple heather fringed sandy heathlands to walk in, many offering wonderful views – especially at sunset when all the land is cast in a deep golden glow. And if you can prize yourself away from your hotel before breakfast, as the sun rises, you’ll hear curlews calling, and spot herds of dainty fallow deer grazing – maybe, if you’re lucky, even one of the majestic pure white stags which roam the region.    There are many shallow ponds and streams too – perfect paddling places for those with small children. Foodies will love the many excellent award-winning pubs in the area, and artisan producers selling fabulous local fare.

 

At the southern edge of the New Forest you’ll find excellent beaches to enjoy. All with incredible views across to the Needles and Isle of Wight. Some are particularly lovely – Mudeford and Highcliffe are sandy, safe for swimming and great for a stroll.
You can enjoy fresh bread and pastries from a bakery on the beach, and light lunches and wine at The Noisy Lobster. Take the little boat ferry at the key side over to Mudeford Spit and Hengistbury Head where you’ll enjoy more golden sand, views for days, and be able to stroll for miles and miles either on the beach or along the fringes of scenic Christchurch Harbour.

    With peaceful woodland, wide open heathland, lovely beaches and excellent, award-winning places to stay, spa and dine, the New Forest is most definitely worth a visit.

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