Car & Driver has already gotten a hold of the 2011 Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible. After taking the coveted luxury car for a spin, the reviews are in! Take a look at what the premiere automobile magazine had to say about the newest Bentley drop-top to hit the streets:
Meet The Beast
Bentley already has superhero-level Continentals in the family—the Speed versions of the GT, Flying Spur, and GTC—but the Supersports models are more thoroughly changed beasts.
Not Bigger But Better
This particular model takes the Bentley Continental GTC (GT Convertible), strips out nearly 200 pounds, drops the suspension 0.4 inch and stiffens it by up to 33 percent, and wrings another 21 hp out of the 6.0-liter W-12 engine. Weight primarily comes out of the seats, brakes, and wheels. At 5400 pounds or so, it’s still hardly light, but 621 hp does a fine job of overcoming the mass.
Bentley claims 0-to-60 mph should take 3.9 seconds. Like all members of the Continental family, this convertible is relaxed and tremendously composed at supersonic highway speeds. It’s just that it gets to those speeds more quickly, and can maintain them through tighter turns and with greater composure. While the push of 590 lb-ft of torque is never subtle, brief turbo lag and all-wheel drive mean the first half-second or so of this Bentley’s launch is a bit soft. Where it really impresses is at higher speeds, when the 621 hp batter aerodynamics into submission and the car continues to pull to ludicrous velocities. Bentley claims a top speed of 202 mph.
Take a look at the Bentley Supersports drop-top below:
Heavy cars at high speed need good brakes, and Bentley claims the carbon-ceramic units it fits to the Supersports are the most powerful binders currently fitted to any passenger car—at 16.5 inches up front, they are certainly supersized. Although the pedal feels spongy, the immediacy with which the brakes haul the car down from speed will have your ribcage feeling spongy as well.
The cabin is swaddled in tactile treats, with Alcantara everywhere, including the carbon-fiber bucket seats. While manually adjusting thrones in a Bentley may seem appalling, those seats are responsible for 90 pounds of the Supersports’s weight reduction. The coupe benefits further from the loss of its rear seats, but in the convertible, those seats house the rollover protection hoops. Even if Bentley had removed the cushions, the structure hidden in the headrests would still have to be there, so engineers just left the seats
On the outside, the Supersports convertible gets the same visual enhancements as the coupe: additional apertures in the front fascia and hood for better airflow, the sinister black wheels, and a lip on the rear fenders to cover the widened—by two inches—rear track. The net effect is menacing, an adjective not often employed in Bentley reviews. And, with contrasting piping and quilting highlighting the Alcantara interior, the car looks just as good from the inside as outside.
The company plans to import just 80 convertibles this year. That’s probably not so much a function of price—the Supersports adds about another $50,000 on top of the Speed’s sticker, for a base price of $286,695—as it is a reaction to the altered character of what used to be essentially a private bullet train.
While the Supersports is certainly very capable, it does neither luxury nor sport as well as other $300,000 cars, and it’s highly unlikely someone spending this much on a car needs one vehicle to fill both of those roles. If you’re going to spend $300,000 on a luxury car, Bentley’s own Mulsanne is far more fabulous than the Supersports. If it’s a sports car you seek, the Italians have some fine vehicles for you. And if what you really want is just something unexpected, that sum might also buy you your very own WhirlyBall arena.
Check out the full review at Car and Driver Magazine.
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