By Nauman Farooq
Of all the production cars that made their North American debut at the New York International Auto Show, the Bentley Continental Supersport takes the title of being the most powerful.
Take a look at its engine and you’ll see why. It has a 6.0-liter, W12 (that’s 12-cylinders, placed in a double-V configuration, hence called a “W”), with two-turbo chargers, and as a result it produces 621hp and 590 lb/ft of torque.
Even more impressively, it can achieve these phenomenal performance figures on E85 petrol, not just high-octane. So not only is the Supersport the most powerful Bentley road car ever, it is also the greenest to the environment.
Not that I see any Greenpeace officials driving around in a car that can top 329 km/h and go from 0-100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds.
That makes it almost a full second quicker than the regular Continental GT. The reason for its extra speed and quickness is not just extra grunt, but also weight shedding. Bentley had put the Continental GT on an Atkins style diet, as a result it has lost its rear seats and by replacing some heavier components with lighter ones, the car has lost 110kg from its bulk.
Thankfully it still retains its all-wheel drive system, its adjustable suspension and its smooth six-speed automatic gearbox, which now feature even quicker shift times of just 200 milliseconds.
You’ll also be pleased to know that with its extra speed comes extra braking power. This Continental Supersport features the largest diameter carbon-ceramic brakes on any production car, measuring 16.5-inches in the front and 14-inches in the rear. Despite their larger size, each disc is 11 lbs. lighter than conventional brakes.
It’s not just the performance that got a make-over, the Supersport also features different bumpers, a new hood, a slightly wider stance, new 20-inch alloy wheels, new electronically deployed rear spoiler (which adds more downforce than the one found on the Continental GT), and sinister blacked-out headlamps and tinted tail-lights complete the look.
Inside there are a few changes too, gone are the back seats as mentioned before, instead now you get a luggage shelf and a huge carbon-fiber crossbar to further strengthen the body. You also lose the massaging front seats and in their place are new, lighter, more supportive sports seats which are more comfortable than they look at first.
The Continental Supersport will be on sale in the next few months with pricing in the U.S. starting at $267,000 (no Canadian pricing announced yet).