Geneva Preview: Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible
The new Continental Supersports Convertible is not only Bentley’s fastest open-top car ever (0-60mph in 3.9 seconds; top speed of 202mph), it’s also the fastest four-seat convertible in the world.
It is powered by the same 621bhp twin-turbocharged W12 that lurks under the bonnet of the Continental Supersports Coupé, launched in 2009, and – as with all models in the Continental range – can run on both petrol and E85 bioethanol. Or any combination of the two.
The styling is described by Bentley as ‘muscular’, with an interior that re-interprets Bentley luxury using satin-finished carbonfibre, Alcantara™ and ‘Soft Grip’ leather. Overall, the engineers have managed a weight saving of 90kg against the GTC Speed.
Prices have not yet been announced but Bentley has released many technical and design details in advance of the Geneva unveiling:
* Revised ZF 6HP26 transmission with ‘Quickshift’ system that cuts shift times by 50% and enables double downshifts
* New 40/60 rear-biased torque split for the all-wheel drive system reduces understeer when powering out of bends and provides for better modulation of line and attitude by ‘throttle steering’
* Retuned Continuous Damping Control (CDC) system, stiffer suspension bushes and uprated rear anti-roll bar benefit body control, steering response, turn-in and balance
* Increased 50mm rear track improves grip and stability
* Lightweight, 20-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels offer 10kg weight saving per car, reducing unsprung and rotating mass and improving brake cooling
* 275/35 ZR20 Pirelli Ultra High Performance tyres
* Advanced ESP system
* Standard-fit carbon-ceramic brakes provide fade-free braking and contribute a 20kg reduction in rotating and unsprung mass from the front axle
* Distinctive centre air-intake and vertical grilles feed larger volume of air (+ 10%) to turbocharger intercoolers while bonnet vents extract hot air from engine bay
* Subtly curved rear wheelarches with newly tooled side panels accommodate increased rear track of the uprated chassis and provide muscular stance
* Distinctive ‘smoked steel finish’ to all exterior ‘brightware’, including the first automotive application of ‘Physical Vapour Deposition’ to stainless steel
* Larger, twin elliptical exhaust tailpipes and rear valance with discreet vertical divider
* Fixed rear bootlid spoiler for improved aerodynamics
Text: Charis Whitcombe
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