November 20, 2017

Car Spotter / Blogger / Reviewer

Today I will be writing about my recent experience with a Bentley Continental Supersports.

 

On New Year’s Day 2017, myself and my brother went round to a good friend’s house to have an overdue look at his black Bentley Continental Supersports. The Supersports once belonged to the English former Manchester United professional footballer Andy Cole.

It was a perfect winters day. The air was crisp and cold, the sky was bright blue without a cloud in sight and the sun was shining brightly.

 

I have only seen the occasional Bentley Continental Supersports in the flesh on the roads, and I believe there are only around 300 registered on UK roads today. Bentley announced limited production of the Continental Supersports in 2009.

 

As if the Bentley Continental GT coupe wasn’t impressive enough, Bentley increased the power of the 6.0L W12 twin-turbo engine in the Bentley Continental Supersports from 552bhp to 621bhp and reduced the weight by 110kg. This combination leads to a reduced 0-100mph sprint time of 8.9 seconds from 11.1 seconds and the top speed is increased from 198mph to 205mph.

 

All this for a luxury vehicle that weights over 2.2 tonnes and can sprint from 0-60 in 3.7 seconds is quite astonishing, taking into account the size and dimensions of the luxurious all wheel drive Bentley.

 

There are a number of changes made for the Supersport compared with the Bentley Continental in addition to the engine modifications mentioned above.

 

The suspension is lowered 10mm front and 15mm rear compared to the normal Continental, creating a lower stance and 275/35 ZR20 Pirelli ultra high performance tyres are present on each corner of the car. Huge carbon ceramic brakes are fitted, larger at the front than the rear where they fill the whole inside of the wheel.

 

The front/rear torque split is changed from 50-50 to 40-60, with a larger distribution sent to the rear wheels. Bentley state the additional ten percent bias to the rear provides for better modulation of line and attitude by ‘throttle steering’.

 

Inside is a combination of carbon fibre, alcantara and leather.  Leaner, lightweight Sparco bucket seats trimmed by Bentley replace the standard Continental seats at a combined total reduction of 45kg. The high levels of comfort and support are still maintained.

 

Front bumper air intakes unique to the Supersports feed the intercoolers behind while the dual bonnet vents allow the hot air to escape the engine bay, both aesthetically pleasing and useful as they aid down force at the front of the vehicle.

 

The automatic rear spoiler raises at around 80km/h or 50mph to also assist down force.

 

Wheel arches are flared by 25mm each side and a unique rear bumper is featured. Elliptical exhaust pipes that are 40mm larger than the standard Continental are visible at each side of the bumper.

 

Now, onto this particular Supersports model and my drive out.

 

The specification for this particular Continental Supersports includes a black exterior, black interior and of course the 20″ 10 spoke lightweight black Supersports alloys.

There are no rear seats in the Continental Supersport as stock, the standard factory set-up leaves a shelf with a carbon fibre structural brace behind the rear seats. This particular Supersport however has the added option of the rear seats which allows for 4 passengers to be comfortably seated, making it a more suitable car for a family. An option that I am informed cost around £10,000 to add when new.

 

A nice feature is the touch activated Bentley logo to automatically open the boot, and the automatic close feature is operated by a button inside the bootlid once opened.

 

I opened the passenger door of the grand tourer, my brother jumped into the back and I got shotgun in the front passenger seat.

Supersports lettering down the side skirt sills

A deep growl from the W12 engine is heard upon start-up as the 6.0L engine roars into life . We reversed out and headed towards the motorway, through a built up urban area.

 

I haven’t been in a car where the suspension is so padded and the ride feels like you are gliding over the tarmac, so refined and comfortable and completely insulated from the outside surroundings.

 

The interior is composed of the finest materials as mentioned earlier. The roof is fully lined in black alcantara and swathes of plush black leather including the seats, centre console and dashboard in addition to the cross stitched quilted alcantara door cards and seat sections. The use of carbon fibre in the centre console, gear lever surround and dials instead of the more traditional wood trims offered by Bentley reduces weight and fits well with the all black interior.

Quilted alcantara and leather seats

Rear seats

Quilted alcantara door cards

The 8″ multimedia touch screen is nestled between large buttons that control the climate settings and media options, below the analogue Breitling clock. Next to each of the air vents are the retro push/pull knobs to open and close the vent and allow or stop the flow of air. A nice, traditional touch.

Carbon fibre centre console, Breitling clock and gear lever

Push / pull manual air conditioning knobs

Like any Bentley, the Continental Supersports has real presence whether it’s stationary on a driveway or in motion on the roads. The hand finished luxury vehicle sits low to the floor and features a timeless design and elegant lines that remain largely the same as when the Continental GT model was introduced in 2003.

 

The acceleration on the Continental Supersports is savage. There is no lag time between the accelerator being pressed and the surge of power whatsoever. The moment the accelerator is touched the W12 roars into life, slamming you back into the seat as the pedal is pressed towards the floor. This was evident on the motorway approach slip road.

 

After completing a circuit containing a mixture of urban driving, motorway, rural driving and dual carriageway it was easy to see why the Bentley Supersports is the perfect grand tourer. It handles excellently for such a large, weighty car with the all wheel drive system and has the performance to contend with Porsches, Ferraris and Lamborghinis etc whilst still maintaining high levels of luxury and comfort. The Supersports also features the largest carbon ceramic brakes offered on a production car, which ensure it can stop on a sixpence.

Rear wheels and ceramic brakes

Front 20″ 10 spoke black wheels and huge 10″ ceramic brakes

The Bentley Continental Supersports is an excellently executed mixture of obliterating performance, British / German engineering and reliability with exclusive luxury.

 

What are your thoughts on the Bentley Continental Supersports?

 

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