Bentley and Rolls-Royce may be as direct as competitors get, but that doesn't mean they go head-to-head on every model. Bentley is arguably more focused on its Continental line, with the pricier Mulsanne branching off of it. Rolls-Royce, meanwhile, only recently expanded (relatively) down-market with the Wraith and the Ghost on which it's based. For Rolls, it's long been about the Phantom and its coupe and convertible variants. And Bentley doesn't pose much of a challenge in that stratospheric segment.

Crewe discontinued the old Arnage-based Brooklands coupe and Azure convertible in 2009 and 2011, respectively, and hasn't rolled out a successor for either in the few years since. The high-end British automaker revealed a conceptual convertible based on the Mulsanne at Pebble Beach Concours last year and was said to be moving ahead with production plans, but the latest intel suggests that Bentley has taken it off the development table.

This according to Car and Driver, which spoke with Bentley's new chief exec Wolfgang Schreiber at the Frankfurt Motor Show. According to Schreiber, there just isn't enough demand worldwide to justify the development costs – even if it is based on the existing flagship sedan. Apparently Bentley has evaluated that beyond the US and Europe, they couldn't sell enough of them in other markets to make it worthwhile. We'd imagine some Middle-Eastern sheikhs might like to get their hands on a few, but apparently the higher priority is getting the Falcon sport-ute out the door.

For what it's worth, this author can't help but wonder if Bentley might not find a better business case on its hands avoiding going head-to-head with the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe and instead going after more of a niche the way Daimler's now-defunct Maybach brand did with the Landaulet and go with a full four-door convertible – at a suitable premium. It has, after all, been a long time since there's been a proper "parade car" on the market, and if anyone could make it work, certainly Bentley would rank high among them.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      Alex Ellsworth
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm kind of surprised it wouldn't be a good business case. Not having a convertible seems like a gap in the lineup - I personally agreed with Jeremy Clarkson when he said it was pointless to have an Audi R8 convertible, yet I see plenty of them among the bling crowd here in prospering Seoul. Rich folks here love convertibles and love their Bentleys. In fact, among those rich enough to afford a Bentley, few seem to want something so "pedestrian" as a sedan.
      ...
      • 1 Year Ago
      Damnit Bentley. First you say no to the diesel manual AWD station wagon, and now this. I and many other autobloggers are waiting with cash in hand to sign on the dotted line. When are you going to start listening to prospective customers?
        Carpinions
        • 1 Year Ago
        @...
        You forgot the part about it making 350hp with 900lbs of torque and getting 72 mpg.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      Steve
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is a car purely for tax evaders.
      Jim R
      • 1 Year Ago
      That's good, because it's a stupid idea and they'll probably sell like 5 of them.
      johnnythemoney
      • 1 Year Ago
      Bull****, they produced the Brooklands in 500 copies in 2007 and called it a success. Don't you even try telling me this car wouldn't sell in 500 or even 1000 copies in a couple of years. Damn it, as soon as you say it will come in just XXXX copies they will sell like hot cakes.
      Sean Sweeney
      • 1 Year Ago
      http://jokeforblog.blogspot.com/2013/09/bentley-mulsanne-convertible-leaked.html
      Winnie Jenkems
      • 1 Year Ago
      Fix the Mulsanne's goofy Spongebob Squarepants front end, then make a convertible. A four door convertible.
      DanDaMan
      • 1 Year Ago
      Of course they should build it! Every Chauffeur deserves to get some fresh air every once in a while...