Once upon a time, Bentley had two convertibles in its lineup – there was the Continental GTC, which you can still enjoy today, and the Azure, which you can’t. The bigger offering, based on the Arnage sedan, went out of production several years back, much to the disappointment of those with ostentatious tastes and bottomless pockets. But if Wolfgang Dürheimer has his way, the 20-plus-year-old nameplate could return in a limited run based on the Mulsanne.
The last Azure demanded ridiculous wealth to purchase, but this new model would be on an entirely different level. According to Car and Driver, Dürheimer said a reborn Azure “would be built in [a batch of] 20 units and sold to absolute connoisseurs at a very high price.” He stopped short of actually confirming the vehicle or its cost, but that hasn’t stopped Car and Driver from suggesting a price of $1 to $1.5 million per vehicle.
The timing here is fascinating, largely because Bentley’s arch-rival, Rolls-Royce, is preparing to phase out its Phantom Drophead Coupe – the Mulsanne Convertible’s most natural rival – due to slow sales. Whatever this limited-edition vehicle is called, it’d be all on its own.
This is not the first time this particular rumor has cropped up. In his first tour as Bentley CEO, Dürheimer brought a full-size convertible, called the Mulsanne Vision (shown above) to Pebble Beach in 2012. The idea was shelved by his successor, Wolfgang Schreiber, in 2013. But with Dürheimer back in his old position in Crewe (and heading up efforts at Bugatti, too), it wasn’t long before Bentley was back in the convertible Mulsanne game with the Grand Convertible, a Speed-based droptop.
When the Grand Convertible debuted, we said the company is “watching customer reaction to the car.” And the press release says the luxury droptop was “developed to signify Bentley’s intentions for the future.” Consider this most recent story a reinforcement of that report, then.