By sometime around 2014, Bentley will launch a 650bhp-plus Continental Supersports model as a new high-performance flagship coupé. This lightweight model will feature carbonfibre panels and stiffer suspension. It’s possible that its cabin will be stripped out. It’s also likely that its twin-turbo W12 will have a higher output.
In autumn 2009, Bentley launched a Supersports in advance of the run-out of the former-gen Continental GT. However, this new car will soon be a long-term element of this range. The Supersports will bridge the gap from the existing 616bhp Speed model to the much awaited road-going Continental GT3 with an output of more than 675bhp that Bentley hopes to launch in 2015 together with a race-ready Continental GT3 customer car.
The Supersports’ output will be higher than that of the Speed by 30bhp or so. This is comparable to what Porsche does to its models, which can be distinguished with small power differences. According to a Bentley insider, the Supersports won’t be about “pure power” since there’s a limit to the amount of power that can be extracted.
So the other modifications will concentrate on reducing the kerb weight, improving gearchange speeds, changing the chassis settings and boosting braking power. These improvements will be centered on a sharper driving experience with better steering and handling, steadier body control and a sportier exhaust note. To reduce the weight, Bentley is planning to put in carbonfibre body panels, lightweight composite seats and maybe stripping out the rear seats to create a two-seat cabin.