The most powerful and quickest Conti ever
The current second-generation Bentley Continental may be on the tail end of its production run, but that isn’t stopping the British automaker from making one last special treat for the luxurious two-door. Debuting on the eve of the 2017 Detroit auto show is the 2017 Bentley Continental Supersports, which churns out a whopping 700 hp and 750 lb-ft of torque.
That’s 67 hp and 130 lb-ft more than the Continental GT Speed. And the Conti easily tops the horsepower war against its competitors in the upper echelon of fancy and expensive coupes. The Rolls-Royce Wraith, for example, makes 624 hp and 642 lb-ft (for the Black Badge edition) and the recently unveiled Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet pumps out 621 hp and 738 lb-ft.
Bentley says the first-generation Continental Supersports was a success so bringing it back was a no-brainer. “It has achieved a sort of cult status,” said Bentley director of product management Paul Jones in a phone interview. “It’s positioned as sort of a pinnacle grand tourer. It’s the ultimate balance of luxury and performance.”
Under the sheetmetal is Bentley’s familiar 6.0-liter twin-turbo W-12, eight-speed automatic, and all-wheel drive system (40/60 front/rear split). Jones said the burly 12-cylinder is relatively understressed in the base Conti GT (582 hp and 531 lb-ft) so with that in mind Bentley fitted the Supersports with larger turbochargers and a more robust cooling system.
The result is what Bentley claims to be the quickest Continental ever. Estimated 0-60 mph time is 3.5 seconds, though it will likely be quicker. The Continental GT3-R, for example, was estimated to run to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds, but we achieved 3.3 seconds in our testing. Top speed for the Supersports is set at 209 mph (336 km/h).
Like the GT3-R, the Supersports features a brake-based torque vectoring system. Other modifications include a lowered and stiffened suspension, carbon ceramic brakes, and carbon fiber aerodynamic kit. Bentley claims those carbon bits helped trim down curb weight by about 80 pounds compared to the GT Speed. The Supersports will be offered in coupe or convertible form and the former is available with a GT3-R-inspired fixed rear spoiler.
So will 700-plus-horsepower Continentals be the norm moving forward? Bentley won’t say, but for now you can have the 700-hp Supersports by the first quarter of this year.