Bentley has announced its fastest and most powerful production model to date – the new Bentley Continental Supersports. We’ve been told to expect a top speed of 209 mph (336 km/h) and a 0-60 mph time of 3.4 seconds (0-100 km/h in 3.5 seconds), which will make the new Continental Supersports the world’s fastest and most powerful luxury four-seat car. Similarly, its soft-top sibling, the Continental Supersports Convertible, will be the fastest four-seat convertible in the world, despatching the sprint to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds (0-100 km/h in 3.9 secs) on its way to a 205 mph (330 km/h) top speed. The Supersports is powered by a redeveloped version of Bentley’s mighty W12 engine and the brand promise that the new high-performance turbos and engine hardware, and a torque vectoring system result in a car which is as agile as it is powerful.
Unique styling cues inside and out are set to give the new model a sharpened athletic appearance highlighting its performance potential. As well as offering supercar pace and a highly focused driving experience, there will be no compromise in the refined nature of the Continental’s ride quality. This fusion of extremes in luxury and performance make the Supersports the ultimate iteration of a model that has come to define and dominate the grand touring genre.
Wolfgang Dürheimer, chairman and chief executive of Bentley Motors, said: “The Supersports name is legendary at Bentley. From the very first Supersports of the 1920s, to the Continental Supersports of 2009 – and now with the third iteration of this iconic model – it is a name which excites, impassions and thrills. Only Bentley could create a car which blends immense performance and unrivalled luxury in this way.”
A bespoke drivetrain featuring Bentley’s W12 engine combines extreme power and torque to offer exhilarating performance. Key to the Supersports’ additional outputs are newly designed, higher-capacity turbochargers and a revised charge-air cooling system which create more boost and additional power. In order to harness these additional outputs, upgrades have also been made to the Continental’s cranktrain, including new main and conrod bearings. These extensive engine revisions result in an increase of 80 PS (79 bhp) and 217 Nm (160 lb.ft.) over the 2009 Supersports model – a 10 percent power-to-weight and 25 percent torque-to-weight ratio improvement. The top speed rises by five miles per hour (and the 0-60 mph time drops by 0.3 seconds). The Supersports also benefits from a new torque converter which locks up faster allowing the car to make best use of the enhanced torque figure of 1,017 Nm (750 lb. ft.), and accelerate from standstill even more rapidly.
In order to rein in this immense performance the new Supersports is fitted with high-performance carbon ceramic brakes with enhanced cooling. The brake discs are the largest of their type in the world, providing excellent performance with minimal fade under extreme conditions. The brakes sit behind lightweight 21” forged alloy wheels, together offering a 20 kg weight saving in unsprung mass. A further 5 kg weight-saving is offered via an optional titanium exhaust system. The new Supersports is the lightest-ever iteration of the current Continental GT and lighter than the 2009 four-seat Supersports model. Enhancing the driver experience still further, the exhaust system has been redesigned to breathe more freely and provide an unmistakeable Bentley soundtrack, with down-shifts eliciting a rifle-fire crackle.
Despite the focus on sharper driving dynamics, the Supersports’ lowered and stiffened dynamic suspension set-up retains all of its luxurious ride quality for passengers wishing to cover long distances in supreme comfort. The new Continental Supersports features unique exterior and interior styling cues which reflect the significant uplift in the performance capability of this pinnacle grand tourer. Exterior changes include newly sculpted front and rear bumper designs incorporating a carbon-fibre splitter and diffuser respectively, new side sill extensions and bonnet vents also finished in carbon-fibre, gloss-black front wing vents and a new gloss-black, rifled exhaust tailpipe design. Completing the dramatic exterior look are dark-tint headlamps and tail-lamps, and a complement of black-finished brightware to the front grilles, lights, rear bumper, door handles and window surrounds. There is also an optional, aerodynamically balanced rear spoiler and front splitter combination for the coupe, new Supersports badging, a new black and bright-machined finish for the 21” forged alloy wheels and optional side decals. Further highlighting the enhanced performance, an optional gloss-finished, Supersports-branded carbon-fibre engine cover can be specified.
The new Continental Supersports Convertible offers the luxury and refinement of a coupé yet transforms into a head-turning open-tourer at the touch of a button. The multi-layer hood ensures high levels of refinement and acoustic insulation. Exhaustively tested in all conditions from -30°C to +50°C or more, it resists even monsoon-force rain and maintains comfortable, draft-free warmth even on the coldest days. Another practical feature, the neck warmer, makes open air driving an appealing and comfortable prospect even on the cooler days of spring and autumn. With the hood down, the Continental Supersports Convertible offers sensational performance with the sensory amplification of open-air motoring. Hood up, it’s as practical a year-round proposition as its coupé stablemate.
Inside, a host of bespoke styling details enhance the contemporary British luxury experience. A unique colour split has been created, using three colours: the first tri-tone interior offered in this generation Continental GT. A new diamond-quilted design is incorporated in the seats and door side panels for a unique signature in Alcantara, while chequered Supersports carbon-fibre fascia panels join the existing list of ten veneers and technical finishes available. The interior is completed by new Supersports emblem stitching, and a bespoke Supersports steering wheel and unique gearlever, both featuring Alcantara accents. A titanium exhaust option is available for drivers seeking a more intense audible experience. As well as a stirring soundtrack, the Titanium system also provides a weight reduction.
For Supersports customers seeking even more personalisation, an
‘X Specification’ pack is available, consisting of eight unique duo-tone paint treatments and carbon-fibre door mirrors and heel plates. The titanium exhaust option is included, as is a carbon-fibre finish to the interior side panels, the carbon-fibre engine cover and a gloss black finish to the 21” forged wheels. As with all Bentleys, the Supersports can also be handed over to the highly skilled craftspeople at Mulliner, Bentley’s bespoke coachbuilding department, who will respond to individual customer requirements.
The Continental Supersports of 2009 won global plaudits for its unique combination of extreme dynamics and unrivalled luxury. The new Supersports takes these characteristics to new heights of engineering excellence, transforming this model into the world’s fastest four-seat car and one that is, nonetheless, an everyday, usable luxury coupe or convertible. It sits at the pinnacle of Bentley’s luxury and performance ethos and is the ultimate iteration of a model that has come to define luxury automotive grand touring.