Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible, 2011
The Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible further strengthens Bentley's supercar range, following the introduction of the Bentley Continental Supersports Coupé in 2009. The new Supersports Convertible, with the same 630PS (621bhp/463kW) twin-turbocharged W12 engine, is the fastest, most potent drop-top Bentley has ever built, offering the ultimate Bentley driving experience in the world's most dramatic convertible.
The inspiration for the 'Supersports' name is the 1925 Bentley Supersports, a race-bred version of the iconic Bentley 3-litre, that delivered 85bhp when more ordinary cars were equipped with a modest 15bhp. It was also the first production car to reach 100mph - extreme performance in its day.
The muscular four-seat Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible is unmistakably Bentley in its design and craftsmanship but its interiorsignifies a dramatic re-interpretation of Bentley luxury. Satin-finished carbon fibre,Alcantara™and 'Soft Grip' leather create a unique ambience with a distinctly sporting and contemporary style.
The new Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible are now capable of running on both petrol (gasoline) and E85 bioethanol or any combination of the two, reaffirming Bentley's ongoing commitment to make all its cars bio-fuel compatible by 2012. Pioneered by the Supersports Coupe, this Flex Fuel technology offers a reduction of up to 70 per cent in CO2 emissions on a 'well-to-wheel' basis, a measure of a fuel's net contribution to the atmosphere, not just tailpipe emissions.
Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible
The Detail of Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible
The new Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible is a car that must be driven to be fully understood. Behind the wheel it is immediately clear that a Supersports Bentley is a 'fusion of extremes' - the ultimate in extreme performance, every day practicality and unrivalled hand-crafted luxury.
Bentley's Supersports programme began as an 'under the radar' project exploring the possibilities of weight reduction on the Continental GT Coupé but with more power and torque. The largely experimental project soon crystallised into an official new car programme, driven by the passion and enthusiasm of a small group of Bentley engineers and designers. Now the Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible has received the same focus and the results are equally dramatic. Dr Ulrich Eichhorn, Member of the Board, Engineering explains the thinking behind the project:
A highly focussed, pure Bentley driving experience
With 630PS (621bhp) and 800Nm (590lb ft) of torque from its pioneering FlexFuel engine and new 'Quickshift' transmission, the Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible is the fastest drop-top Bentley has ever built. It accelerates from 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.2 seconds) and, conditions permitting, can continue onto a top speed of 202mph (325km/h).
The lightweight wheels are fitted with 275/35 ZR 20 Pirelli Ultra-High Performance tyres, providing excellent steering response. The standard-fit tyre monitoring system allows the driver to select tyres type and speed range parameters. As well as monitoring pressures, the system warns drivers if their speed is too high for the tyre pressures or if tyre speed ratings are exceeded on winter tyres.
The Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible features an advanced electronic stability programme (ESP) that moderates intervention at low speeds, exploiting the potential of the more powerful engine and enhanced chassis, improving driver interaction and control. The new ESP also provides faster reinstatement of engine torque after intervention, giving the spirited driver greater control. The target slip is increased at greater than 90 per cent throttle to utilise all available longitudinal grip. Corner exit agility is thereby also enhanced for increased driver involvement. Together the chassis, tyre and track changes deliver improved grip, turn-in and agility.
Designing the 'extreme' Bentley convertible- where form follows function
The evolution of the Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible's design is very much a case of form following function, with new purposeful sculptural forms signalling the engineering changes beneath the skin. Key engineering-led design changes to the Supersports:
- Revised front air intakes and new bonnet vents to improve airflow and cooling
- Flared rear wings to accommodate wider rear track
- Discreet bootlid spoiler benefitting aerodynamic balance at high speeds
The increased power and torque of the W12 engine necessitated an additional 10 per cent airflow to the twin turbocharger intercoolers and cooling system. With extensive use of Computational Fluid Dynamics techniques, Bentley's designers responded with a purposeful and dramatic style, featuring large vertical intake apertures. Twin bonnet vents were added to ensure positive air extraction.
Similarly, all-new flared rear wings that accommodate the 50mm (2 inches) wider rear track are designed to emphasise the powerful stance of this ultra-high performance Convertible. The resultant Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible style combines the looks of the graceful Continental GTC with a wide, low and muscular appearance that reflects its more extreme character.
The Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible, in common with its Coupé stablemate, occupies a position within the Bentley portfolio which is all its own, as Raul Pires, Head of Exterior Design, explains.
From the front, the radiator, lower grille and dual bonnet vents are finished in a striking Smoked Steel finish. Derived from an innovative technology normally used to apply a coating to luxury watches and specialised industrial tools, Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) is a complex and time-consuming process that involves vaporised metal being deposited onto the surface of, in this case, stainless steel.
Restyled - and more aerodynamic - door mirrors match the exterior paint choice and the window and door surrounds replace polished stainless steel with a Smoked Steel finish to match the front grille. Eye-catching, black gloss Bentley-branded brake calipers act on the carbon ceramic brakes. Surrounding the brakes are the unique 20-inch, forged alloy wheels with Smoked Steel-finish which are exclusive to Supersports models. Large diameter tailpipe trims round out the car's purposeful stance when viewed from the rear. Beneath the bonnet Supersports badges grace the cover of the 630PS (621bhp) W12 engine.
The Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible has an electrically operated, three-layer fabric hood with advanced acoustic insulation to provide superb levels of refinement and comfort when raised. A choice of eight hood colours are available, including a new Dark Grey Metallic option, which is achieved by weaving a 'grey' acrylic fibre with a semi-transparent 'metallic effect' fibre in a twill weave construction to create a directional colour effect.