The world's fastest four-seat coupe and convertible
Take that, Ferrari. Move over, Porsche. The Bentley boys lay it on the line: With a top speed of 209 mph, the 2017 Bentley Continental Supersports is, they say, the fastest four-seat Coupe — and fastest four-seat Convertible, should you choose the topless option — in the world.
Making it all happen is a carefully massaged version of the multi-point injected 6.0-liter W-12 engine. With a completely revised top end, larger turbochargers, freer-breathing intercooling and exhaust systems, a strengthened crank, new connecting rod bearings, and new main bearings, the mighty Bentley twelve now develops 700 hp at 6,000 rpm and a thumping 750 lb-ft of torque from 2,050 rpm to 4,500 rpm. That’s 79 hp and 160 lb-ft more than the engine developed in the original Supersports Coupe, which was launched back in 2009.
The engine drives all four wheels through a strengthened automatic transmission with a new torque converter, but 60 percent of the grunt is now channeled to the rear wheels. The Supersports also features a torque vectoring system — developed from the setup first used on the race-face Continental GT3-R — capable of braking individual wheels at the front and rear of the car to improve agility into and out of corners. To cope with the extra heat generated by the system, the Supersports is fitted with upgraded carbon-ceramic brakes with enhanced cooling.
The 2017 Supersports represents the epitome of the second-generation Continental, says Bentley Continental product line director Paul Jones; the distillation of the engineering and development lessons learned over the car’s seven-year lifespan. What Jones won’t confirm is that it’s also probably the last hurrah for the second-gen Conti, which is due to be replaced by an all-new model built using VW Group’s MSB architecture by the end of the year.
In addition to its mechanical upgrades, the 2017 Supersports is identified by new, more aggressively styled bumper fascias front and rear, a trunk-mounted rear wing, and new multi-spoke 21-inch forged alloy wheels. The grille, headlight surrounds, greenhouse surround, side vents, and other minor trim items are all finished in gloss black. Inside, the Supersports gets unique checker-pattern carbon fiber trim on the dash, and Supersports logos stitched into the seats.
A tri-tone color split for the interior leather is available as an option. Also optional is the Supersports X specification, which offers eight unique duo-tone exterior color combinations, as well as additional carbon-fiber trim pieces, and a titanium exhaust system.
Just 250 Supersports will be available for the U.S. Prices start at $293,700 for the Coupe and $322,600 for the Convertible, with the first cars expected to arrive in the third quarter of this year.