Bentley showcased its fastest Bentley ever and the most powerful production model to date – the new Bentley Continental Supersports. 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) 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, is the fastest four-seat convertible in the world, going from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds (0-100 km/h in 3.9 seconds) on its way to a 205 mph (330 km/h) top speed.
Bentley’s mighty W12 engine, redeveloped for the Supersports with new high-performance turbos and engine hardware, and a torque vectoring system create a Continental Supersports as agile as it is powerful. Meanwhile, unique styling cues inside and out 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 is 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.
A bespoke drivetrain featuring Bentley’s W12 engine combines extreme power and torque to offer exhilarating performance. Key to the car’s 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 crank train, 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 per cent power-to-weight and 25 per cent 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 inch forged alloy wheels, together offering a 20 kg weight saving in un-sprung 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. This performance is matched by athletic handling. The Supersports has a specifically calibrated and updated version of the torque vectoring system first introduced on the Continental GT3-R.
This dynamic system brakes individual front and rear wheels during acceleration out of corners to increase performance, whilst maintaining full power to un-braked wheels, and brakes the inside rear wheel on turn-in to improve agility. It also has a bespoke, less intrusive stability control calibration for a more precise chassis response.
The new Supersports retains the rear-biased torque split of Bentley’s all-wheel-drive system, sending 60 per cent of the engine’s power to the rear wheels as standard for a better balanced, more sporting character, but with the ability to adjust the front-rear power split depending on available traction. 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 bright ware 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-fiber 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.
Inside, a host of bespoke styling details enhance the contemporary luxury experience. A unique color split has been created, using three colors: 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-fiber 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 gear-lever, both featuring Alcantara accents.