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Beastly Bentley Continental Supersports unleashed

Beast mode: With a zero to 100km/h acceleration time of 3.5 seconds, the Bentley Continental Supersports is quick enough to make Porsche 911 GT3 owners think twice about a squirt off the line.

New Bentley Continental Supersports is the world’s fastest luxury four-seater

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Bentley logo6 Jan 2017

By DANIEL COTTERILL

BENTLEY has revealed “its fastest and most powerful production model to date” in the form of the 336km/h-capable Continental Supersports.

The latest ultra-luxurious coupe will also crack the benchmark zero to 100km/h time in just 3.5 seconds – 0.1s faster than a Mercedes-AMG GT R – while its convertible cousin is 0.4s slower to 100km/h and is top-speed limited to 330km/h.

The main factor in the performance difference between the two versions is a 175kg extra kerb weight penalty in the convertible, with the sedan weighing in at 2280kg versus the convertible’s 2455kg.

Propelling all that mass is Bentley’s W12 engine specifically redeveloped for the new Continental Supersports, featuring enhancements including a newly designed, higher-capacity turbochargers and a revised charge-air cooling system to create more boost.

The modifications result in an impressive 522kW at 6000rpm and a stump-pulling 1017Nm at 4500rpm. These figures represent an extra 59kW and 217Nm over the previous model.

To ensure the Continental Supersports can survive all that extra power, the engine’s bottom end gains improved main and conrod bearings, while the transmission sports a new, faster locking, torque converter.

Pulling up two and a bit tonnes of fast luxury motoring are high-performance carbon-ceramic brakes with enhanced cooling. Bentley say the brake discs are the largest of their type in the world, and claim they provide excellent performance with minimal fade under extreme conditions.

By extreme conditions they mean temperatures of up to 1000 degrees Celsius, or about the same as molten lava.

The Supersports utilises torque vectoring to help it turn corners, with the system able to brake individual front and rear wheels during acceleration out of corners to maximise performance, whilst maintaining full power to unbraked wheels, for better acceleration out of the bends.

Exterior changes include newly shaped front and rear bumpers, incorporating a carbon-fibre front splitter, rear diffuser, side sill extensions and bonnet vents, as well as front wing vents and exhaust tailpipes finished in gloss back.

The Continental Supersports interior has also come in for extensive remodelling, encompassing tri-tone colours throughout, diamond-quilt designs in the seats and door trims, and unique steering wheel and gear lever designs.

While not yet confirmed for an Australian debut, the fastest Bentley yet is expected to find its way Down Under, with the ultra-lux brand enjoying a strong sales success in 2016.

Last year Bentley sold a total of 190 vehicles, a 20 per cent increase over its total tally in 2015.

Bentley is yet to publicly put a price on its new powerhouse but, as always, in the luxury car world, if you need to ask you probably can’t afford it.

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