NEWS

2017 Bentley Continental Supersports Preview

03_17Bentley_Continental_Supersports_OEM.jpg 2017 Bentley Continental Supersports | Manufacturer image

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Competes with: Rolls-Royce Ghost, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

Looks like: The blurred likeness of a 2016 Bentley Continental GT just blew past at 209 mph

Drivetrain: 700-horsepower, turbocharged 6.0-liter 12-cylinder mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission

Hits dealerships: May

Bentley’s newest ultra-luxury grand touring road boat will certainly keep you and your passengers comfy on a three-hour tour — but don’t expect the tour to take the whole three hours. The 2017 Continental Supersports, making its debut at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, is said to be the fastest, most powerful Bentley ever, with a purported zero-to-60-mph sprint of 3.4 seconds on its way to a top speed of 209 mph. It’s basically the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat but at nearly five times the price.

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Buyers can also sacrifice a little bit of performance for the pleasure of feeling the wind blowing through their hair — albeit violently — in the Continental Supersports convertible. The droptop gets to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and up to 205 mph. All of this in both models is achieved with Bentley promising not to sacrifice the decadent self-pampering anyone spending around $294,000 for the coupe and $323,000 for the convertible should rightfully expect.

Exterior

Bentley has made numerous exterior styling changes to reflect the Supersports models’ performance chops, but overall, it remains faithful to the current Continental GT. Bentley says styling tweaks include sculpted front and rear bumper designs incorporating a carbon-fiber splitter and diffuser, respectively, new side sill extensions and bonnet vents also finished in carbon fiber, gloss-black front wing vents and a new gloss-black and rifled tailpipe design, dark-tint headlights and taillights, and black-finished elements on the front grilles, lights, rear bumper, door handles and window surrounds.

Buyers can also opt for a rear spoiler and front splitter combo on the coupe, Supersports badging, black-and-bright-machined-finished 21-inch forged alloy wheels, and side decals. That’s in addition to an optional gloss-finished, branded carbon-fiber engine cover and optional titanium exhaust.

Bentley says the multilayer convertible top insulates occupants both from outside sound and elements of even the most inclement weather. Meanwhile, the neck warmer feature enables top-down driving in even cooler days.

Interior

A model-specific tri-tone color scheme differentiates the Continental Supersports’ interior, which incorporates a diamond-quilted design into the Alcantara-leather-covered seats and door panels, as well as available checkered Supersports carbon-fiber elements among a host of other available cabin finishes. Supersports emblem stitching — and a similarly branded sport steering wheel and model-specific shifter, both wrapped in Alcantara — further adorn the inside.

Under the Hood

The Supersports’ real draw, of course, isn’t under the roof, but under the hood. Both the coupe and convertible are powered by a ridiculously robust, turbocharged 6.0-liter W-12 engine that makes a Hellcat-like 700 hp and 750 pounds-feet of torque. That’s an increase of 79 hp and 160 pounds-feet of torque over the 2009 Supersports model, while the coupe’s top speed of 209 mph is 5 mph faster. That power is channeled to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.

“In order to rein in this immense performance the new Supersports is fitted with high-performance carbon-ceramic brakes with enhanced cooling,” Bentley said in a statement. “The brake discs are the largest of their type in the world, providing excellent performance with minimal fade under extreme conditions.”

The automaker says power is accompanied by nimble handling courtesy of a specially calibrated torque vectoring system. But in emphasizing driving dynamics, Bentley assures its faithful that it doesn’t come at the expense of a luxurious ride. It does to a large extent come at the expense of fuel economy, however, which Bentley quotes at 12/26/18 mpg city/highway/combined for the coupe and 12/26/18 mpg for the convertible.

Check out the gallery below.

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