Bentley’s fastest, most potent drop-top ever will be available from this summer, starting at $280,400
FlexFuel technology becomes standard on all 2011 Continental models, reaffirming Bentley’s on-going environmental commitment to make all its cars biofuel-compatible by 2012
(31 March 2010.
The new, muscular four-seat Supersports Convertible will be priced from $280,400 when it arrives at Bentley retailers this summer. Unmistakably Bentley in its design and craftsmanship, its interior signifies 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 entire 2011 Continental model range, including the new Supersports Convertible, will be capable of running on both gasoline and E85 bioethanol, or any combination of the two, reaffirming Bentley’s ongoing commitment to make all its cars biofuel compatible by 2012. Pioneered by the Supersports Coupe, this FlexFuel technology offers a reduction of up to 70 percent in CO2 emissions on a ‘well-to-wheel’ basis, a measure of a fuel’s net contribution to the atmosphere, not just tailpipe emissions.
“The new Supersports Convertible is the most powerful drop-top we’ve ever produced,” said Christophe Georges, President & Chief Operating Officer for Bentley Motors, Inc. “This extreme power combines with pioneering FlexFuel technology, now shared with all Continental models, reflecting Bentley’s ongoing commitment to more environmental motoring.”
The Continental Supersports Convertible
The new 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 program 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 crystallized into an official new car program, driven by the passion and enthusiasm of a small group of Bentley engineers and designers. Now the Supersports Convertible has received the same focus and the results are equally dramatic.
“The ‘extreme’ Bentley stable now has a new occupant in the form of the Supersports
Convertible,” said Dr. Ulrich Eichhorn, Member of the Board, Engineering. “It is a car every bit as purposeful and potent as the Coupé but with the panache of roof-down motoring.”
FlexFuel Technology Introduced On All 2011 Continental Models
FlexFuel technology, pioneered on the Continental Supersports Coupé in 2009, is now extended to the complete 2011 Continental range, including the new Supersports Convertible. The W12 6-liter power unit now has the technology to run on gasoline, E85 bioethanol or any mix of these two fuels – all from a single tank.
Bioethanol is blended with gasoline in a variety of percentages ranging from E10 (10 percent bioethanol) to the most widely known, E85, a ratio of 85 percent bioethanol to 15 percent gasoline to ensure cold-start capability.
Bioethanol presents other unique engineering challenges compared with gasoline, due to its chemical composition and characteristics. E85 biofuel has a very high octane rating of 105 but a lower energy content that requires a 30 percent increase in the engine fuel-flow rate.
This necessitated a complete review of the fuel system to identify and, if required, replace components deemed to be insufficiently resistant to the properties of ethanol.
Increased fuel flow is achieved through a returnless fuel system, twin variable flow-fuel pumps and a new closed-loop fuel rail design with pressure sensor. For the fuel system all O-rings, seals, gaskets and pipes are new while new valve coatings and hardened valve seat material provide additional lubrication. New spark plugs with a wider heat range allow for slower combustion.
A sensor in the fuel supply system detects the blending ratio in real time and varies the engine mapping to ensure power, torque and emissions remain at the same levels whatever fuel is used.
FlexFuel offers the possibility of up to a 70 percent reduction in CO2 net emissions on a ‘well to wheel’ basis, calculated by adding the CO2 emitted during the extraction and refining process (the ‘well’) with the CO2 released when the fuel is burnt during motoring (the ‘wheel’).
Biofuels can be sourced from sugar cane or soybean, or from “second-generation” sources such as agricultural waste and forestry residues. As biofuels are not derived from fossil fuels, the CO2 released during combustion is reabsorbed by plants during the photosynthesis process, thus creating an unbroken energy cycle.
The New Continental Supersports Convertible – At a Glance
The fastest, most potent drop-top Bentley ever
- 6-liter W12 engine twin-turbocharged engine produces 621bhp at 6,000 rev/min and 590lb ft of torque at 2,000-4,500 rev/min
- 0 – 60mph in 3.9 seconds
- 0 -100mph in 9.6 seconds
- Top speed of 202mph
- Overall weight saving of 198 lbs versus GTC Speed
A highly focussed, extreme Bentley convertible driving experience
- Revised ZF 6HP26 transmission with ‘Quickshift’ system that cuts shift times by 50 percent and enables double downshifts
- New 40/60 rear-biased torque split for the all-wheel drive system reduces understeer when powering out of bends and provides for better modulation of line and attitude by ‘throttle steering’
- Retuned Continuous Damping Control (CDC) system, stiffer suspension bushes and uprated rear anti-roll bar benefit body control, steering response, turn-in and balance
- Increased 2-inch rear track improves grip and stability
- Lightweight, 20-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels offer 22 lbs weight saving per car, reducing unsprung and rotating mass and improving brake cooling
- 275/35 ZR20 Pirelli Ultra High Performance tires
- Advanced ESP system fully exploits potential of the powerful W12 engine and improved chassis
- Standard-fit carbon-ceramic brakes provide fade-free braking and contribute a 44 lb reduction in rotating and unsprung mass from the front axle
Muscular yet elegant styling with four-seat practicality
- • Form follows function: distinctive center air intake and vertical grilles feed larger volume of air (+ ten percent) to turbocharger intercoolers while bonnet vents extract hot air from engine bay
- Subtly curved rear wheel arches with newly tooled side panels accommodate increased rear track of the uprated chassis and provide muscular stance
- Distinctive ‘smoked steel finish’ to all exterior ‘brightware,’ including the first automotive application of ‘Physical Vapour Deposition’ to stainless steel
- Larger, twin elliptical exhaust tailpipes and rear valance with discreet vertical divider
- Fixed rear boot lid spoiler for improved aerodynamics
- Unique driver-focused, four-seat cabin
- Lightweight, carbon fibre, front sports seats, saving 99 lbs per car
- Alcantara™, carbon fibre and ‘Soft Grip’ leather provide a new interpretation of Bentley craftsmanship
The standardization of FlexFuel capability across the 2011 Continental model range reaffirms Bentley’s on-going environmental commitment
- FlexFuel available on all 2011 Continental models, including the new Supersports Convertible, from June 2010
- All Continental models are now capable of running on gasoline and E85 biofuel or any combination of the two
- Power and torque remain constant whatever the ratio of gasoline to E85 biofuel
- A Fuel Quality Sensor detects the blending ratio of the fuel in real time sending a signal to the engine control unit (ECU), initiating the correct engine mapping. This ensures all performance parameters remain balanced and consistent
- Offers a reduction in CO2 emissions of up to 70 percent (well-to-wheel,) a measure of a fuel’s net contribution to the atmosphere, not just tailpipe emissions