Now you can instill the fear of death into three passengers at time.
During a 1965 concert, Bob Dylan, a winner of the Nobel Prize in literature and dubbed the voice of his generation, got on stage and started playing rock n’ roll music, much to the displeasure of his blues-loving audience. The crowd booed and Dylan stopped his rock career right there, but many say he only dipped his toes down that avenue out of jealousy for the Beatles, who ended concerts only when too many panties had been flung on stage. In a sense, Bentley is like Dylan.
It’s known as the builder of one of the best luxury vehicles that money can buy and the Continental is nothing short of grand touring perfection. However, some part of Bentley aches to reside among the ranks of its brother by Volkswagen marriage, Bugatti. Bentley will never reach the ranks of a car that’s engineered with such a voracious appetite for speed as the Veyron, but it can at least snag a few records for its collection and its best bet at that is the new Continental Supersports, what is now the world’s fastest four-seat car. The Supersports is the last hurrah of the heavily aged D1 platform on which it's based and will be used commemorate it before the Continental’s replacement is ushered in on VW's new MLB platform.
To build the Supersports, Bentley reworked the two turbos on the 6.0-liter W12 engine to squeeze out an additional 79 horsepower and 160 lb-ft of torque over the 2009 Supersports. This allows the quick and agile grand tourer to hit a peak speed of 209 mph and go from 0-60 mph in only 3.5 seconds using 700 horsepower and 750 lb-ft of torque. A convertible version is available, and thanks to the fact that the Bugatti Veyron Gran Sport Vitesse is only a two-seater, the topless Continental Supersports is also the world’s fastest roofless four-seater with a top speed of 205 mph and a 0-60 mph sprint time of 3.7 seconds. Handling all that power is a bit difficult, so the engineers went with a rear-biased AWD system.
That gets glued to the end of an eight-speed ZF gearbox, which features a new torque converter that locks up faster for neck-snapping acceleration. Unfortunately, Bentleys aren’t exactly known for having a diet-induced beach body. To help reduce nose-in-wall stopping incidents, the engineers fitted the Bentley with massive carbon ceramic brakes, the biggest of their kind. While the suspension has been stiffened, Bentley claims that it will still provide a comfortable ride for grand touring albeit with a dialed back stability control system to help the torque vectoring system do its job. As a Bentley, the Continental Supersports must also be comfortable.
Luckily it ticks this box off with handpicked color schemes that retain luxury without putting a dagger in the Supersports’ weight-loss aspirations. Gadgets also help sell luxury cars and the Continental Supersports has them in droves, the most notable of which is a neck warmer for the stubborn few that want to drive the convertible with the top down in the winter. Those who want one will have to wait for June of 2017 to get an order form from the dealership, but at least that’s plenty of time to decide whether you want the optional rear wing, titanium exhaust, or a personalized color scheme.