Bentley Continental Supersports review

By: James Stanford

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This ballistic 463kW Bentley thinks it’s a sportscar, despite weighing 2.3 tonnes

Bentley Continental Supersports review
Driven: Bentley Continental Supersports


Bentley Continental Supersports

The Continental Supersports is a Bentley, but not like any other. Forget the traditional cosseting leather seats and forests of woodgrain, this Bentley has wafer thin race buckets and strips of carbon-fibre. There are bonnet vents, wider rear guards, a spoiler, steering wheel paddles and even a (very subtle) spoiler. Did I mention the thunderous exhaust, outrageous horsepower and optional matt paint? It’s as though all the chaps who design Bentley’s have suddenly discovered the Fast And The Furious movies.

The Continental Supersports will most likely cause traditionalists to choke on their pipes or mutter unpleasant things about the company’s German owners (VW), but buyers of the car will certainly have a good time. And so they should given it is super-expensive at $525,000.

That is a cool $126,413 more than the Continental GT and a handy $96,753 more than the spicy GT Speed version.

The extra cash buys you the fastest and most powerful Bentley to have ever rolled out of the company’s factory in Crewe, outside Manchester. It runs a 6.0-litre, twin-turbo W12, which is almost identical to the regular GT engine, except that Bentley engineers followed the example of thousands of Subaru WRX owners and wound up the boost pressure. This act of genius results in a monstrous power output of 463kW and a G-force pulling 800Nm of torque. That’s enough to send the big Bentley from 0-100km/h in just 3.9 seconds and all the way to a top speed of 329km/h.

It is rather impressive given the uber-coupe weighs all of 2240kg. Believe it or not, this is how much it weighed after a crash diet shed 110kg. By replacing the front lounge chairs with race seats and removing the rear seats, and using carbon-fibre liberally including for the brake discs as well as fitting lighter wheels and other varied components, Bentley was able to make the car slightly less absurdly heavy.

The Supersports still runs a ZF six-speed automatic, but the shifts are faster. It is linked to a constant all-wheel-drive system with a torque split of 40/60 per cent front to rear. The resulting acceleration is enough to wipe the wrinkles off the face of the oldest Bentley boy. It is simply fearsome, as we found out on a private test track an hour out of Sydney.

A glorious 12-cylinder howl adds to the thrill of acceleration, as does some lovely exhaust crackle on the over-run. It isn’t doesn’t quite sound as hoodlum as an HSV, but it is getting close.

As the tacho spins towards 6000rpm, it is time for the next gear. You can let the automatic do its job or do it yourself with the large paddles behind the steering wheel. But they don’t move with the wheel and, depending on its position, they can be awkward to reach.

The steering is lighter than most sportscars, but the suspension is far stiffer than any other Bentley and the Supersports is able to change direction faster than you would think possible for a car this portly. The brakes are perhaps the most impressive element of the car, with eight-piston calipers latching onto 420mm carbon discs to dramatically slow its progress.

With no rear seats and many elements of a muscle car, the Continental Supersports is a truly unique Bentley and is terrific fun if you can afford it. For those who still have too much money after shelling out $525,000, Bentley offers the option of matt black or matt grey paint for $60,000. It doesn’t discriminate against those with poor taste, but does charge them a hell of a lot.



Bentley Continental Supersports


Body: two-door coupe

Weight: Drivetrain Front-engine, AWD

Engine: 6.0-litre twin turbo W12,

Power/torque: 463kW and 800Nm

Transmission: Six-speed automatic

Performance: 0-100km/h – 3.9 sec. Top speed – 329km/h

Price: $525,000 RRP



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