With a car like the Bentley Continental GT, it's not difficult to predict the evolution of the species. White hot expensive coupe starts proliferating in Beverly Hills until seemingly everyone in town has one. Naturally a convertible comes next (GTC), and then go fast versions of each body style (GT Speed, GTC Speed). Finally, there's the super duper exclusive variant (Supersports), with the latest in evolutionary line being the 2011 Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible seen here.
As you probably can guess, the spec sheet for a Supersports Convertible isn't very different from its Supersports coupe sibling. The massaged version of Bentley's W-12 engine still features twin turbos and puts down an awesome 621 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque, which catapults the car from 0-60 mph in 3.9 sec all the way up to 202 mph. With 198 fewer pounds to lug around, it's no surprise that the Supersports drop top is considerably faster than the GTC Speed. Don't forget this W-12 is E85-compatible and the computers will allow you to burn any combination of E85 and gasoline with no change in performance.
Rear track width increases nearly two inches in order to keep its huge 275/35 ZR20 Pirelli tires in better contact with the road during hard driving and lightweight alloy wheels save 5.5 pounds at each corner. Further reduction to the car's rotating mass comes from the carbon-ceramic brakes that shed another 44 pounds.
Don't expect massive visual changes on the Supersports Convertible. Bentley didn't waste time on components that don't improve performance. The few changes that distinguish the Supersports from its slightly less venerable siblings include a smoked steel finish on the radiator, lower grille, and hood vents finished with a new physical vapor deposition (PVD) process that deposits vaporized metal on stainless steel surfaces. Bentley claims the Supersports is the first automotive application of PVD, which has been used to finish items like luxury watches in the past.
Inside, Bentley's traditional wood trim is replaced with carbon fiber pieces and swaths of Alcantara fabric. Perhaps our favorite feature in the Supersports is the delightfully simple front seats. Sparco buckets save approximately 100 pounds over the regular Bentley seats and wear handsome diamond-quilted Alcantara accents.
If this sounds like the ultimate Continental to you, head to your local Bentley dealer soon. Continental Supersports Convertibles should begin arriving in showrooms this July and we're betting there's already a healthy waiting list developing down at the Beverly Hills Bentley dealership.