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Bentley saves best Continental for last

Sold out: Bentley has promised just 10 of its limited-edition Continental Supersports to Australia buyers, who have snapped them up.

336km/h Bentley Continental Supersports is last hurrah before all-new model

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Bentley logo23 Mar 2017

By RON HAMMERTON

A FEW lucky Australian Bentley buyers will pay a minimum of $569,522 plus on-road costs for the privilege of owning the fastest four-seat car in the world, the 336km/h Continental Supersports.

Presented today at the Australian F1 Grand Prix, the big two-door sportscar is not only the most powerful and most expensive Continental ever offered, but also the last in the current line that stretches back to 2011, albeit with several major makeovers in the interimAn all-new Continental is expected to be shown at the Frankfurt motor show in September, signalling the start of a new era at the Volkswagen-owned, British-based luxury car-maker.

But that has not stopped buyers queuing for the 2017 Supersports. Out of global production run of 710 – a figure representing the horsepower of the 522kW beast – just 10 of the latest Continental Supersports have been allocated to Australia – eight coupes and two convertibles.

Bentley’s Asia-Pacific regional sales and marketing manager David Jackson said his office had asked the factory for more car, as the current allocation was all but subscribed, mostly by owners of the previous Continental Supersports that was launched in 2009.

The $569,522 pricetag for the new Supersports coupe represents an $84,320 premium over the current flagship Continental, the $485,200 GT Speed.

The convertible version is more expensive again, at $626,474, which is $92,074 more than the topless GT Speed.

Courtesy of bigger turbos and other new hardware in the engine, Superspeed buyers get an extra 59kW of power at 522kW, plus 217Nm more torque at 1017Nm from the 6.0-litre W12 twin-turbo engine .

This helps blast the 2.2-tonne coupe version from zero to 100km/h in a Porsche-like 3.4 seconds, and on to a theoretical top speed of 336km/h. This makes it the fastest Bentley road car ever.

The heavier convertible (2.4-tonnes) is a fraction slower, but still covers the 0-100km/h sprint in 3.7 seconds and tops out at 330km/h.

What are claimed to be the biggest brakes of their type on any production car, 420mm carbon-ceramic discs, haul the Supersports to a stop.

These massive brakes sit behind 21-inch forged alloy wheels that are unique to the Superspeed and slice an impressive 25kg from the overall weight, helping to make this variant the lightest of all current Continentals.

Other external styling changes include unique front and rear bumpers with carbon-fibre splitter and diffuser respectively, along with other carbon-fibre and black-finished trim bits such as side vents.

Headlamps and tail-lamps come with a smoked-glass finish, while the grille and other bits have a dark chrome effect.

If the buyer wishes, a carbon-fibre rear wing spoiler can be included, along with a lightweight titanium exhaust pipe.

The suspension has been tweaked to handle the extra speed, and a torque vectoring system previously employed on the Continental GT3 R has been included as standard equipment on the all-wheel-drive system that is – under normal running – biased 60 per cent to the rear wheels.

The vectoring system brakes individual wheels in an out of corners while maintaining full squirt to other wheels to help the car track evenly around the bends.

Apart from its electric-powered fabric top, the convertible gets neck warmers for front seat occupants for chilly days.

The tri-tone interior has quilted seats and door trims in a diamond stitch pattern, along with a carbon-fibre checkered design on the dash. If the buyer prefers, nine other finishes are available from the standard list, or they can dip into the endless options from Mulliner’s bespoke services.

2017 Bentley Continental Supersports pricing*
Coupe (a)$569,522
Cabriolet (a)$626,474
*Excludes on-road costs

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*** Prices exclude on road costs and dealer delivery fees

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