Bentley has revealed the fastest and most powerful model in its 90-year history, the new 621HP Continental Supersports that will make its premiere in Geneva with sales following in most markets from autumn 2009 and in the U.S., in the summer of 2010. The Continental Supersports, whose name is inspired by the firm’s 1925 two-seater 3-litre Supersports model, is powered by a 6.0-liter W12 engine capable of running on either petrol and E85 biofuel or any combination of the two. Bentley supports that the E85 biofuel can offer a reduction of up to 70 per cent in CO2
So does that make the Supersport “green”? Well, definitely not compared to a Prius or even a conventional family car for that matter, but it’s supposed to be green for the levels of performance and luxury it offers. For the record, the Continental Supersports has a combined fuel economy of 17.3 mpg UK which comes to 14.4mpg US or 16.3 lt / 100km, with CO2 emissions of (ahem…) 388 g/km.
The Superports’ 6.0-litre W12 twin-turbocharged engine produces 621-horsepower at 6,000 rev and a massive 800Nm (590 lb/ft) of torque at 1,700-5,600 rev. The W12 is matted to a revised ZF6HP26 automatic transmission with ‘Quickshift’ system that cuts shift times by 50% and enables double downshifts, helping the flex-fuel Continental accelerate from 0-60mph in 3.7 sec (0-100km/h in 3.9 sec) onto a top speed of 204mph or 329 km/h.
Bentley’s engineers also put the Supersport on a strict diet achieving a weight reduction of 110kg or 243 lb compared with the Continental GT Speed. For example, the Supersports is a strict two-seater featuring all-new lightweight sports seats with carbon fibre clamshell rear panels. In the rear compartment, the seats are replaced by a stowage deck with a carbon fibre luggage retaining beam.
To better the coupe’s driving dynamics, the engineering team performed an array of chassis enhancements including retuned steering and suspension, utilizing lighter weight components, retuned dampers and anti-roll bars. Additionally, agility is further sharpened by the 40:60 rear-biased torque split for the all-wheel drive system, a wider rear track, bespoke lightweight 20-inch alloy wheels and a unique electronic stability programme.
The Supersports is distinguished from its Continental coupe stable mates by the newly designed bonnet, the flared wings and new dark-smoked steel finish to all exterior ‘brightware’, including front grilles, lamp bezels, window surrounds and wheels. Inside, the cockpit is adorned with carbon fibre and Alcantara.
Commenting on the new Supersports model, Dr Franz-Josef Paefgen, Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive said; “The Continental Supersports reflects the passion and enthusiasm of Bentley’s engineers and designers. This is the fastest, most extreme Bentley ever, dramatically styled to underline its supercar character. Importantly, it also pioneers the use of FlexFuel technology in the luxury sector.”