Lost at Sea: Mulliner Puts a Boat Deck inside a Bentley Continental GT’s Trunk
Presenting the Bentley Motors Continental GT Convertible Galene Edition by Mulliner, a car with nearly as many syllables in its name as examples being built. It is a hand-crafted batch of exactly 30 vehicles, and yet another luxury automaker’s ode to yachts, this time named after the Greek goddess of calm seas, Galene.
Bentley’s customization division, Mulliner, took the wheel for this project in collaboration with Princess Yachts, a British manufacturer not to be confused with the less lavish and much cheesier Princess Cruises. Mulliner is the group that’s made the word bespoke so trite, executing treatments to suit individual buyers. A run of 30 cars looks more like off-the-rack stuff than Mulliner’s usual work, but the Continental GT is going to be replaced soon and British brands love to finish a run with a series of special editions.
Supposedly intended to evoke the sparkles of light bouncing off a wavy ocean, the Galene Edition’s body is dressed in Glacier White paint with Sequin Blue brightware. The car sits on polished 21-inch propeller-style wheels that, to our eyes, resemble windmills more than they resemble the things that propel yachts, but we digress. Opulence steps up a notch inside the vehicle. The seats are covered with Linen (off-white) and Portland (gray) leather with Camel (tan) cross-stitching. The dashboard, center console, armrests, and steering wheel carry a Linen, Brunel (blue-gray), and Camel palette throughout the interior. The Galene also includes an eyeglasses case embedded into the center tunnel that is lined with Brunel-colored ersatz-suede microfiber. This case matches the passenger-side dashboard fascia, which also is finished in Glacier White and features a hand-painted yacht illustration by Spanish artist Jaume Vilardell, just to make sure everybody knows about the nautical theme.
The centerpiece of the car is what Bentley calls Pinstripe Walnut, a new finish that has been created by Mulliner. Used on the center-console panel above the infotainment screen that surrounds the clock and air vents as well as on the center tunnel, the open-pore walnut inserts supposedly resemble a gorgeously laid boat deck. The wood also can be seen in the Mulliner-branded door sills, and most notably lining the entire floor of the trunk, which looks more like a piece of art than a place to store luggage.
Mechanically, this Continental GT is exactly the same as its regular dealership counterparts. A twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 sits under the hood and provides 500 horsepower and 487 lb-ft of torque. Boat-themed special-edition cars have become all too common, really, seen plenty of times by Rolls-Royce and Mercedes-Benz, and even trickling down to cars like the Fiat 500 Abarth. The Galene is certainly gorgeous inside and out, but it might be time to look to new areas for inspiration.