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Bentley Opens Up the 2011 Continental Supersports Convertible

Matthew Phenix

Bentley’s Continental GT coupe and GTC convertible have never been shy on power or speed—the “base” models’ 552 horsepower and top speed of 195 miles per hour and the Speed editions’ 602 horsepower and top speed of 200 miles per hour are hardly figures to sneeze at. In keeping with this too-much-is-just-right philosophy, the English automaker one-upped itself again earlier this year with the superheroic Continental Supersports coupe, a 622-horsepower titan with a 204-mile-per-hour top speed. And now, right on cue, the hardtop Supersports (one of the Robb Report’s Best of the Best for 2010) is making room for the Supersports convertible.

Bentley’s ultimate drop-top employs the coupe’s twin-turbocharged 6-liter W12 engine, which produces its prodigious power on regular gasoline or E85 ethanol, following the company’s promise to make all of its cars biofuel-ready by 2012. With the aid of a tenacious all-wheel-drive system and a quick-shifting six-speed manumatic transmission, the big Bentley will launch to 60 miles per hour in a breathtaking 3.9 seconds and fly on toward a very breezy 202 mph. The Supersport’s performance figures are all the more impressive when you consider its 5,400-pound curb weight—more than a seven-passenger Mercedes-Benz GL450 sport-utility vehicle.

Inside, supple hide, Alcantara faux-suede, and carbon-fiber trim adorn the cockpit, and front seats made of lightweight carbon-fiber composite save a not-insignificant 49 pounds apiece. Unlike the Supersports coupe, the convertible retains its rear seats, earning it the title of world’s swiftest four-passenger drop-top.

On sale this summer, the 2011 Supersports convertible is priced at $280,400—$13,400 higher than the 2010 Continental Supersports coupe and a whopping $78,900 higher than the standard Continental GTC. For those who require an open-air Bentley that boasts more than mere speed, however, it will be money well spent. (www.bentleymotors.com)

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