Bentley Continental Supersports | 2009 Geneva Auto Show | Edmunds.com

MORE GENEVA AUTO SHOW @ INSIDELINE.COM: http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/autoshows/geneva/2009/2010bentleycontinentalsupersports.html Just when you thought you'd heard the last of E85 ethanol, here comes Bentley with its alcohol-burning 2010 Continental Supersports. In this one way, this 621-horsepower matte-white terror is like a Chevy Tahoe. Otherwise, not so much. Now we suppose that if you've got the jingle to buy an example of this fastest and most powerful Bentley model ever, then you could probably afford to have someone deliver the E85 by the tanker truck to your garage. Otherwise, it won't be easy to find the stuff. Fear not, as the car's W12 engine will make the same horsepower running on regular old premium gasoline, too. Either way, Bentley says that while the Supersports will be available worldwide this fall, cars for the North American market won't be FlexFuel capable until the summer of 2010, following regulatory approval. The first several hundred U.S.-market cars will officially be gas only. Why did Bentley bother with all the ethanol stuff if the car can make the same power on gas? It's the first step in Bentley's plan to make its entire range compatible with renewable fuels by 2012. This should reduce the CO2 output of its fleet and deflect at least a little of the criticism that comes when you produce cars that deliver only 13 mpg in the city. Anyway, the car - it's fast. The company estimates it'll do zero to 60 in 3.7 seconds and top out at 204 mph. That's no small feat for a vehicle that weighs 2.5 tons. The Speed model, says Bentley, will get to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds and top out at 202 mph. Though the Supersports has gone up in power with its turbocharged 6.0-liter W12, it has gone down in weight, dieting 243 pounds compared to the now totally slow-in-comparison Continental GT Speed. That's thanks to lightweight 20-inch wheels, standard carbon-ceramic brakes (which, despite being utterly massive at 16.5 inches across up front and 14 inches in the rear, save 44 pounds compared to conventional brakes), lightweight carbon-fiber sport seats and a few other things. Despite all of this, the Supersports will weigh in at about 5,000 pounds. The ZF six-speed automatic has been modified to shift 50 percent quicker than the standard box. The all-wheel-drive system now comes with a rear-biased torque split (40 percent front/60 percent rear compared to 50/50 for the Speed model). The suspension has been retuned with new dampers and antiroll bars. The standard Continental body has been modified to accommodate a 2-inch-wider rear track and suck 10 percent more air into the engine. The Supersports comes with four unique paint options - two pearlescent and two matte - and is finished with "smoked steel" trim in place of chrome. Inside, the Supersports two-seater is slathered with carbon fiber and Alcantara synthetic suede trim. Pricing hasn't been set for the Supersports yet, but figure about $250,000 or a little more than 20 percent higher than a Speed model. Bentley reckons it can sell about 250 Supersports at this price in the U.S. in a year.

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