2017 Bentley Continental Supersports: Blast of fast

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Billed as the quickest and fastest production model the firm has ever produced, the 2017 Bentley Continental Supersports has been revealed. Reintroducing a name first used by Bentley in the 1920’s and most recently on the 2009 Continental Supersports, this third and most intense iteration will be offered in both Coupe and Convertible configurations when it goes on sale here later this year.

700 horsepower

The heart and soul of this new Continental Supersports is a specially modified version of Bentley’s twin-turbo 6.0-liter W12. Fitted with new higher-capacity turbos, upgraded intercoolers, stouter internals and a freer flowing exhaust, the engine now makes 700 horsepower and 750 lb-ft of torque – gains of 67 and 130 output units, respectively, compared to the current 2017 Continental GT Speed. That extra muscle lets the Supersports Coupe streak from 0-60 mph in a claimed 3.4 seconds and hit a top speed of 209 mph, leading Bentley to dub it the world’s fastest and most powerful luxury 4-seat car. While the heavier Supersports Convertible can’t quite match those stats, its 3.7 second/205 mph numbers are still most impressive.

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The Continental Supersports’ more potent engine is backed by a modified version of the paddle-shift ZF 8-speed automatic that boasts a faster lockup function on the torque converter. Power still heads to all four wheels via a 40/60 rear-biased AWD system but the torque vectoring setup culled from the hard-core Continental GT3-R model has been recalibrated to enhance overall traction and acceleration when cornering. Rounding out the mechanical upgrades on the lightest Continental model currently on offer is a stiffer, lower-riding suspension along with massive carbon ceramic brakes.

Bolder look

Distinctive visual cues for the new Continental Supersports include edgier fascia treatments that bring a carbon fiber splitter up front and a composite rear diffuser as well as unique side sill extensions. The hood vents are also done in carbon fiber. In addition to dark-tint headlights and taillamps, this ultimate Continental variant gets a selection of black-chrome elements and bespoke rifled exhaust outlets set off with 21-inch forged alloy wheels wrapped in 275/35 Pirelli P Zero performance rubber. The Supersports Coupe also is available with an optional aero-balanced front splitter/rear-wing.

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Inside, the Continental Supersports models feature a selection of distinctive touches including the first tri-tone color motif offered on this generation of Continental. Unique steering wheel and shift lever designs, custom diamond-quilted upholstery patterns and Alcantara inserts plus dedicated Supersports carbon fiber accents and embroidered seat logos add character to the mix. Complementing the fully-lined power top, standard neck warmers permit open-air touring in cooler weather.

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Buyers can further personalize either Supersports model with an “X Specification” package that includes a two-tone exterior. And like all Bentley models, these rapid newcomers can be taken one step beyond thanks to Bentley's in-house handcrafting division, Mulliner. Ordering is set to begin this month and the 2017 Bentley Continental Supersports duo will hit showrooms here in May. The Supersports Coupe kicks off at $293,300 while its open top runningmate opens at $322,600, both less destination fees and gas-guzzler taxes which are likely add about $4,400 to each figure. 

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