25 February 2009

Flexing its muscle

It’s the fastest, most powerful Bentley ever… and it’s green! Well, sort of…

Bentley Continental Supersports

Holy zeitgeist, Batman, it’s the fastest, most powerful Bentley ever! And it’s coming to the Geneva show next week with 621bhp and a top speed of 204mph!

This is the Bentley Continental Supersports, the most extreme Conti ever – but before you start tearing your hair out and wondering exactly how deep the guys in Crewe are burying their heads in the sand, hang on. The Supersports (Supersport, surely?) is green.

Really, it is. This is the first ‘flexfuel’ Bentley: it’ll run on petrol, E85 biofuel or any combination of the two. Depending on the source of the biofuel, Bentley reckons this reduces lifetime CO2 emissions by up to 70 per cent.

Bentley plans to make its entire range biofuel-capable by 2012, cutting CO2 emissions by 15 per cent.


Anyhow. That’s the boring stuff out the way. Now for the fun bit. The fast-and-powerful bit. The Supersports’ 621bhp six-litre W12 engine is five per cent more powerful than the current range-topper, the Conti GT Speed (and 13 per cent more powerful than the, er, standard Continental), and will fire the Supersports to 60mph in 3.7 seconds, over half a second quicker than the GT Speed.

Top speed rises to 205mph, but the most impressive stat is the Supersports’ 0-100mph time: a mere 8.9 seconds, or over two seconds quicker than the standard Conti.

The added performance is thanks in part to the Supersports’ weight loss strategy: it tips the scales some 110kg lighter than the admittedly porky Continental. That’s mainly due to the scrapping of the rear seats (which we can’t help thinking is like boasting that you’ve lost half a stone in a month by cutting off your left arm) and replacing the front seats with lightweight buckets. Bucket seats, that is.

Bentley has thoroughly revised the Supersports’ chassis, too: the rear track is 5cm wider, while the springs and dampers have been stiffened and retuned.

You might have spotted the visual enhancements: new front and rear bumpers, and a big new pair of nostrils on the bonnet to feed the intercoolers.

All of which should confirm the Supersports as the new king of Cheshire golf club car parks when it goes on sale in the autumn. We’ll get a closer look in Geneva next week…

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