James Bond exudes 007 cool in one. Ex-NBA great Shaquille O’Neal once bought three of them on a whim. Paris Hilton likes hers in bubble-gum pink. We’re talking about a Bentley, of course.
For 93 years, the luxury-car maker has been handcrafting vehicles for the very well heeled while simultaneously manufacturing a bit of auto envy for us 99 percenters. And this fall, Bentley is turning heads yet again with its 2013 Continental GTC V8 convertible.
Bentley promises its sleek new drop-top will provide the ultimate driving experience, cocooning its inhabitants in an interior that features buttery-smooth leather upholstery and dark fiddleback eucalyptus veneers. (No word on how many cup holders it has, but you’re shopping in the wrong showroom if that’s a big concern.) A twin-turbo V8 engine provides the requisite growl and muscle: zero to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds, with a maximum speed of 187 mph. Even so, this Bentley is pointed in a greener direction, sporting a 40 percent improvement in both fuel efficiency and carbon-dioxide emissions. That translates to roughly 500 miles on a single tank of gas.
How much for this slice of mobile luxury? About $200,000, depending on the model.