The Continental Supersports is the model produced by the British manufacturer, and it is a great combination of luxury and power. It is equipped with 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12 engine that produces 700 horsepower and 750 lb-ft of torque, much-needed power for this heavy beast. The platform on which the new Continental is based on starts to show its age after 14 years, which is no surprise at all, but the generational update is expected soon. The new 2017 Bentley Continental Supersports has been tested on Portugal highways and at the Autodromo do Estoril racetrack, and now we will see how it behaved.
Rolf Frech is Bentley’s member of the board for engineering, which is just another way of saying that he is the Continental Supersport’s chief developer. He and his team were responsible for the redesigned intake and high-pressure turbochargers, all of which helped the Continental Supersports achieve these high-performance figures. You cannot help but ask yourself whether all this power will force the driver into a ditch on the side of the road, but note that the new model comes with an upgraded torque vectoring system and it uses individual wheel braking to improve the handling and stability.
Another genius responsible for this piece of art is Paul Jones, Product Line Director for the Continental. He was a man to thank for the vehicle’s two-tone leather upholstery, chromed organ-pull vent controls and Breitling clock integrated into the dash. According to Jones, you can find the 2017 Bentley Continental Supersports in 90 different exterior color options, while there are eight two-tone combinations, but if you want to make your Bentley even more special, there is a Bespoke program offered by the Brits.
The Continental Supersports has a very similar interior to a Continental GT, but massive polished carbon fiber trim panels add authenticity to the Supersports. The console features the identical large shift lever which is supported by paddle shifters used for manual mode, as the shifter works an eight-speed automatic transmission from ZF.
Double-pane windows are there to prevent, or at least to reduce significantly, the engine noise that enters the cabin. When you press the accelerator, it is quite surprising how gentle the 2017 Bentley Continental Supersports actually is despite the raw power. The electric power steering is so easy to control, and even a kid could turn those large 21-inch wheels with incredible ease. Like any other Continental, this one also comes with adaptive suspension system, boosting the comfort to a whole another level. You can choose between Comfort and Sport driving mode on the touchscreen and compared to Rolls-Royce or Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the Supersports puts driving engagement in front of the convenience.
Although it goes from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds, it doesn’t feel like it, as the Continental Supersports slowly builds up power and moves like a freight train. Don’t let the 5,500 pounds of the curb weight fool you because when you attack the curves at higher speeds, the brake-induced torque vectoring gets involved and the extra rotation is felt.
2017 Bentley Continental Supersports is certainly a powerful vehicle, but it simply cannot be driven as it is a race car. The power should be added late in the turns because if done otherwise, an understeer is inevitable and this is something you want to avoid when driving a 700-horsepower vehicle. What you will never experience with this luxurious car is the actual sound of the engine because of all of the noise dampening. On the race track, the Bentley really shows off in the straight line where you can fully exploit that enormous W12 engine. Although the top speed of this machine is 209 mph, it takes some time to hit the mark, and it is impossible to do it on the Estoril’s straight section of the track.
The Continental Supersports is a truly impressive vehicle, but the generational update will make it even better. The first obvious problem of the current generation is the curb weight, and lighter and more modern materials would definitely improve fuel efficiency, handling, and acceleration. Secondly, direct injection can replace the port injection which will provide some extra ponies, but this is not a small change, and it would probably require an addition of a completely new engine.
The LCD touchscreen needs an immediate fix, as it is only used for the fundamentals such as navigation, digital audio, and a hands-free phone system. There are no modern features such as online destination search, app integration and it doesn’t support either Apple CarPlay nor Android Auto. Furthermore, the Continental Supersports comes without safety features such as adaptive cruise control and it doesn’t even sport a head-up display, all of this because of the outdated architecture.
2017 Bentley Continental Supersports Price
The starting price of the 2017 Bentley Continental Supersports is $293,300 for the coupe and $322,600 for the convertible, which will come out a year later as a 2018 MY. Note that this model is the limited edition and only 710 examples will be assembled.