The 200mph four-seater may be nothing all that new, but do you know what is the fastest of them all? A Ferrari, Porsche, Merc-AMG, Aston? From today, there’s a new contender for the title in the luxury form of the most potent Bentley road car ever made.
JAN 06th 2017
Bentley's new 700bhp 209mph Supersports is the fastest four‑seater in the world
It’s the latest Continental, reprising the famous Supersports name, and with both power and torque starting with the number seven, it’s not short in the grunt department.
As well as Bentley claiming it to be “the world’s fastest four-seat car”, it is the most powerful Bentley ever made with a stonking 700bhp and 750 lb-ft of torque. It may be the current Conti’s last hurrah – an all-new car is due in around a year – but it’s certainly not going quietly.
So how fast is the fastest? Try 0-62mph in 3.5 seconds and a maximum speed for the coupe version of 209mph. At full power, Bentley usefully informs us, the engine inhales 500 litres of air per second, the equivalent of 1000 people breathing in all at once.
Supersports Bentleys have history of course – the name dates back to the 1920s – but none gets close to the potency of this bespoke new W12 drivetrain. The key is that giant of an engine which gets big new turbochargers, among other upgrades.
The result is 79bhp and 160 lb-ft of torque more even than the last Bentley to wear the Supersports nameplate, the first-gen Conti of 2009 – a car which was also heavier than the latest one. In fact, the 2017 Supersports is the lightest-ever iteration of the Continental GT, says Bentley (though it does still weigh well over two tonnes).
Other changes are a torque vectoring system from the GT3 R, an upgraded torque converter with faster lock-up, and enhanced cooling for the carbon ceramic brakes – at 420mm up front, the discs are the biggest of any brakes anywhere, says Bentley. A new exhaust helps the Bentley’s breathing and provides those pleasing rifle-cracks on downshifts.
You shouldn’t have any trouble spotting the most powerful Bentley ever. Identifying marks include new front and rear bumper sections incorporating carbon-fibre splitter and diffuser, carbon sill extensions and bonnet vents, plus gloss black finish for the wing vents and tailpipe, and for trim that would otherwise be shiny chrome. Even the lights and door handles get the black treatment.
It may be getting on now (the second-gen Conti came out in 2011) but Bentley is adamant the Supersports sets a new standard for dynamic handling with luxury ride. The new vectoring system from the road-racer is said to make a noticeable difference, improving traction out of corners, allowing the stability control to take more of a back seat and generally enhancing agility. As before, 60 per cent of torque is sent to the rear wheels.
So is it the fastest (ie, highest top speed) four-seater? It is certainly true there are other cars today with seats in the back (some more useful than others…) that can cover the length of a football pitch every second – that’s what 200mph is. But Bentley does have a strong claim. Its 209mph is 1mph up on the Ferrari GTC4, and 6mph on the Aston Rapide S. A lot of other very powerful cars are limited to 155mph of course.
The Supersports certainly is not the quickest (ie fastest accelerating) four-seater, with cars like the four-door Tesla Model S able to shave half a second off its 0-62mph time.
Bentley’s claim to the title doesn’t end there, however. The Supersports is also available in open-top form, and as such is surely in a class of its own.
Whoever heard of a four-seat convertible that can blast from 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds and top out at 205mph before?
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