29 Mar Danny’s Value Play: Bentley Continental Supersport
Ask any car guy their opinion of a great all around “sports cars” that can be had for around $100,000 and you are likely to hear mentions of Porsche GT3s, the Corvette Z06, Audi R8s, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and a host of others. What you most likely will not hear mentioned is the Bentley Continental Supersports…that is unless you are talking to me.
The Bentley Continental Supersports made its North American debut in 2010. I was working at a Lamborghini dealership that also had a Bentley Franchise as well and I was invited to drive the new Bentley at Monticello Racetrack in upstate New York. Perplexed as I was that we were heading to a race track to test a new Bentley (Why not just park it in the showroom and sit in the back seat…that is what Bentley’s are all about right? Luxury and Comfort?) I was excited nonetheless. We arrived to find lined up, alongside the new Bentley a Ferrari F430, Porsche 997 Turbo S, Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera and an Audi R8. By this time I thought I had it all figured out, ‘OK so the guys from England want us to think their new car is Sporty…got it. Sporty.”
I had already seen the car in the flesh and was a big fan of the styling. Just like the model itself was a sheer contrast between what Bentley’s have typically been (Large, Luxurious and Comfortable.) the styling of the SuperSport was all about contrast too. The show car was spec’d in “Ice White” which had a dynamic element that looked silver in one light and white in another. Clearly it was a sporty color especially as the interior was optioned in bright red leather with black Alcantara accents and a ton of complementary matte finish carbon fiber trim. The wheels were gloss black along with the brake calipers that highlighted the gigantic Carbon Ceramic Brake Rotors.
In press releases and dealer training seminars we were told that the car was much lighter than a standard Continental “GT”. I can’t remember exactly how much lighter, but something like 700 lbs lighter is floating in my memory. It was explained that the use of carbon fiber for the bumpers, front fenders, hood and more was a big weight saver as was the lack of power seats. What? No power seats? Are you sure this is a real Bentley? …and it was! If fact, they weren’t just any “non-power seats” they were in fact the carbon fiber racing buckets from the Bugatti Veyron, Bentley’s sister company. Even more shocking…the car had no back seats at all, just a magnificent carbon fiber strut bar and some fancy upholstery was all the adorn the area behind the driver and passenger seat. Later in production, there was an option to order the Supersports with regular back seats and power comfort front seats. I personally like the car with the racing buckets as that was how the car was initially designed.
The engine was equally impressive as the body and outrageous interior. The Super Sport features a Twin-Turbo W12 engine producing over 630 horsepower. Much more power and substantially less weight than a standard Bentley GT which was evident on the track. The car is very nimble and has effortless power. It’s a blast to pilot around and the brakes are incredible. It clearly was not as light as the competitor cars, but it made up for it with unique cool factor. I simply loved this car back in 2009 when I drove it and I love it today. These cars were $270,000-300,000 new. Today you can pick one up for right around $100,000 if you look hard enough. I cannot think of a more unique, rare or more interesting car for the money and that is why the Bentley Continental SuperSport is my Value Play of the Month. I don’t think these cars are going to go down much in value over the next few years if at all. Their styling is still modern enough to fool most valets and bystanders into thinking you just bought a brand new $300,000+ Bentley, but the car’s specs on paper will impress any true car guy. Unique, sporty and also a Bentley. Go Figure!