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New Bentley soft-top fastest ever

2010-02-17 08:22
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Bentley
Model Continental Supersports Convertible
Engine 6l W12 twin-turbo
Power 463kW @ 6000r/min
Torque 800Nm @ 1 700r/min
Transmission Six-speed auto
Zero To Hundred 4.2 sec
Top Speed 326km/h
Europe might be in the throes of its harshest winter in decades, yet this is of no consequence to VW’s ultra-luxury division – Bentley.

The crew at Crewe have related details pertaining to the fastest drop-top Bentley yet – which coincidently happens to be the world’s most rapid four-seater convertible, too.

Although it’s a mouthful to fill in on registration papers – Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible – this latest soft-top toy from Bentley promises to offer the last word in aristocratic (or nouveau riche) open-top motoring.

Big bad Bentley

Styling cues the coupe Continental, with the same intimidating grille (featuring those minor/major headlights), unapologetically generous proportions and simple lines.

With the roof retracted, the Supersports Convertible has a burly elegance about it, especially viewed side-on.

Classic lines hide trick all-wheel drive system, adaptive damping and German build quality. All very traditionally un-Bentley characteristics.

No Bentley would be worthy of the legendary winged ‘B’ badged without sporting a ludicrously overpowered engine.

The Supersports Convertible is no different and stays true to tradition with its twin-turbocharged 6l W12 powerplant. At peak operational speeds it is worth 463kW, whilst 800Nm is fully attested at an entirely leisurely engine speed of only 1 700r/min.

Performance figures are altogether inappropriate for something with a spacious four-seater passenger arrangement.

The all-wheel drive system ensures secure traction off the line, and Bentley says the six-speed automatic ZF transmission will hurry the four-seater soft-top past 100km/h from standstill in only 4.2 seconds.

Top speed is 326km/h – in a soft-top. Can you say "cabin wind buffeting"…?

Don't expect the obligatory hazard lights twin-flash thank-you when this powers past. Beautifully crafted ovoid exhausts emit ungodly acoustics from the W12 engine.

Handles too - apparently

To keep the Supersports Convertible’s rampant performance in check Bentley added a raft of dynamic driver aids.

The car’s ESP intervention threshold has been configured to keep drivers safe, yet engage the aft-axle bias of the all-wheel drive system’s 40/60 torque distribution ratio – essentially quelling understeer.

Featuring a 50mm wider rear track, the soft-top Continental should exhibit negligibly keener turn-in behaviour.

Sufficient rubber and brakes

Pirelli 275/35Z rubber is present at all four wheel corners (rolling on stylish 20-inch, ten blade wheels). Hidden behind the wheels are massive carbon-ceramic rotors  (420mm fore, 356mm aft), clamped by eight-piston callipers to guarantee redoubtable stopping ability.

Converting the Supersports Convertible’s epic rotational force numbers to towering propulsion is a ‘quickshift’ enabled version of ZF’s six-speed automatic transmission.

What makes the 'quickshift' six-speeder so neat? Well, it's able to cut ignition during full-bore acceleration runs. These split-second combustion reduction increments allow smoother shifts and allegedly quicker sprint times too…

Eco-friendly too?

Beyond all the Alcantara trimmed and twin-turbocharged excess, the Continental Supersports Convertible is a fully compatible flex-fuel car, able to fun on either pure E85 ethanol or a blend of petrol and E85.

It just goes to show, you can be an eco-conscious Russian oligarch without to having sacrifice open-topped driving pleasure…

Expect the world's plutocrats to be swooning around Bentley's stand at the Geneva motor show, where the Continental Supersports Convertible is to be unveiled publically during the first week of March.



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