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Motoring News 10.5.2017 07:27 am

Bentley Continental Supersports – The world’s fastest 4-seater

The soft top boasts a neck warmer, makes open air driving comfortable.

Bentley has announced its fastest and most powerful production model to date: the new Bentley Continental Supersports.

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A top speed of 336km/h and a 0-100km/h time of 3.5 seconds make the new car the world’s fastest and most powerful luxury four-seat car. Similarly, its soft-top sibling, the Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible, is the fastest four-seat convertible in the world, despatching the sprint to 100km/h in 3.9 seconds on its way to a 330km/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 car as agile as it is powerful. Unique styling inside and out give the new model an athletic appearance.

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 a model that has come to define and dominate the grand touring genre.

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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 58kW and 217Nm over the 2009 Supersports model, which translates into a 10% power-to-weight and 25% torque-to-weight ratio improvement.

The new car 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 017Nm, and accelerates from standstill even more rapidly. To rein in this immense performance the new Supersports is fitted with high-performance carbon ceramic brakes with enhanced cooling.

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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 20kg weight saving in unsprung mass.

A further 5kg weight-saving is offered via an optional titanium exhaust system. Enhancing the driver experience still further, the exhaust system has been redesigned to breath more freely and provide an unmistakeable Bentley soundtrack, with downshifts 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 unbraked 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 car retains the rear-biased torque split of Bentley’s all-wheeldrive 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.

The Convertible offers the luxury and refinement of a coupe 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.

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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 Convertible offers sensational performance with the sensory amplification of open-air motoring.

Hood up, it’s as practical a year-round proposition as its coupe stable mate. 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.

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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.

The Supersports can also be handed over to the highly skilled craftspeople at Mulliner, Bentley’s bespoke coach building department, who will respond to individual customer requirements. The cars arrive in the third quarter of this year and come with a three-year/10 0000km Drive Plan.

  • Pricing is: R4 450 000 for the Coupe and R4 850 000 for the Convertible.

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