- A simulated tweed fabric top is a brand-new option for the 2020 Bentley Continental GT convertible.
- The fabric comes from Haartz of New England, not England, thank you very much.
- The brown yarns have a special weave when viewed closely, but from afar it looks like any regular top.
The world's finest tweed comes from Scotland and Ireland, where the tough, thick wool has warmed both working and wealthy classes for centuries. While impressively wind and water resistant, tweed doesn't sport the same durability for a car's roof as it does woven into a cap. But Bentley wanted the look for its Continental GT convertible, and what Bentley wants in a fabric top, Bentley gets from the Boston suburb of Acton, Massachusetts.
Haartz makes the fabric for nearly every softtop convertible on sale. The Union Jack–patterned top on the Mini Cooper convertible, the odd double-glass roof for the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet—they're all sourced from New England where the locals can't pronounce their Rs.
The tweed on the Continental droptop isn't real tweed, since the constant stretching and flexing would soon make a quarter-million-dollar car look like a landau-topped Lincoln Town Car. Haartz's solution weaves dark brown and cream yarns in a tight, intricate pattern to simulate the style and texture of a dapper winter coat. Bentley said the design team made Haartz go through "many rounds of dyeing both of the yarns" before they were satisfied, presumably as they sipped hot tea in a tweed vest.
The tweed-look top has the same insulation that makes the Conti droptop almost as quiet as the coupe and the same 19-second up-or-down action the driver can command while cruising at 30 mph. Bentley hasn't announced a price. To replicate this British experience on the cheap, we recommend driving a Miata to an Irish clothing store and heading out with the top down—and your new tweed jacket on.