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by George Skentzos

Bentley has finally unveiled its fastest; most powerful model ever – the 329km/h Continental Supersports.

The Supersports is capable of running on both petrol and biofuel, pioneering the use of FlexFuel technology in the luxury market and reaffirming the brand’s environmental commitment.

What began as an exploration into weight reduction for the current Bentley range transformed into a much more complicated project over a period of 24 months, eventually emerging as the Continental Supersports.

2009 Bentley Continental Supersports

This early development is evident through a substantial weight reduction of 110kg when compared with the standard Continental GT Speed, achieved using new lightweight materials and components such as the standard carbon ceramic brakes.

Commenting on the most extreme Bentley, Stuart McCullough, Member of the Board, Sales and Marketing said, “The Supersports will appeal not only to existing Bentley customers but will extend the brand’s appeal to enthusiasts who value extreme performance and distinctive styling in a luxury car that is fuelled for the future.”

Motivating this new Bentley is a 6.0-litre W12 engine twin-turbocharged engine which produces 463kW at 6000rpm and a huge 800Nm between 1700 to 5600rpm.

2009 Bentley Continental Supersports

This power is channelled through a new ‘Quickshift’ version of the six-speed ZF 6HP26 automatic transmission that halves shift times, resulting in a very quick zero to 100km/h time of just 3.9 seconds.

Capable of running on either petrol and E85 biofuel or any combination of the two, this blend can offer a reduction of up to 70 per cent in CO2 emissions on a ‘well-to-wheel’ basis which is measurement of a fuel’s net CO2 contribution to the atmosphere, not just tailpipe emissions.

The GT moniker has been removed from its title for a reason, with an array of chassis enhancements including retuned steering and suspension, lighter weight components, retuned dampers and anti-roll bars giving the Supersports genuine supercar handling.

2009 Bentley Continental Supersports

This is underlined by the sharpened all-wheel-drive system with a 40:60 rear-biased torque split, a wider rear track, bespoke lightweight 20-inch alloy wheels and a unique electronic stability programme.

A case of form following function, its design is both purposeful and elegant – for example, additional airflow demanded by the increased power and torque of the W12 engine was achieved by utilising the larger vertical intake apertures and twin bonnet vents.

2009 Bentley Continental Supersports

Similarly, it’s flared hind quarters accommodate the 50mm wider rear track but also emphasise the powerful stance of this ultra-high performance two-seater coupe.

Inside, the usual wood veneer has been replaced by carbon fibre components, while the new lightweight front sports seats also feature a carbon fibre clamshell back.




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