Continental brake fast

Continental brake fast

Philip Clare takes a Bentley Continental Supersport out on the road and alarms his heavily-pregnant wife with the superb performance that the 6-litre beauty turns in.

ne12 main2I am an associate solicitor at Muckle LLP which is one of the leading and busiest corporate finance teams in the region. Given that my wife is now eight months pregnant with our first child, I had thought that my chances of driving any sort of sports car, never mind a supercar, were going to have to be put on hold for at least 18 years.

So, when I got the chance to test-drive the Bentley Continental Supersport for BQ magazine I was really excited. First impressions are that the car is stunning. The version I drove was the two-seater coupe.

It was black with 20-inch, 10-spoke, black alloys and slightly tinted windows. It’s a great looking car, sporty, with a low stance and an aggressive appearance, especially with its large front grilles and dual bonnet vents. It’s a hard core version of the iconic Bentley design.

The interior is spacious and comfortable. The racing seats look great and do their job holding you in position when cornering. The dash was a mix of black leather and silver metal which looked very flashy. The drive really is out of this world.

At cruising speeds, the car is remarkably smooth and comfortable. However, press the accelerator and it really is a supercar. As soon as you put your foot down, the 6-litre, V12, 620 BHP, really does kick in and the acceleration is immense.

The car is stunningly fast, so much so that I was slightly concerned that showing my wife what it could really do might bring on an early labour! Remarkably, the car gets even quicker when it is put into sports mode where it seems to drop a gear (or two) and the gear changes when accelerating seem even fasterGiven the power that the car has, you really do need to know that it has good braking – and it does.

It has huge carbon ceramic brakes which mean that even at speed the braking is very responsive. I only have two slightly negative comments. Firstly, the two seater coupe I drove had a huge parcel shelf behind the driver and passenger seats.

This didn’t seem very practical to me, especially since the car, rather surprisingly, has a huge boot.

Saying that, I suspect if you were actually buying this car you would be buying it more for its looks, speed and all round performance than for its practicality.

Still, my preference would be to have similar performance on a car with two rear seats and I understand from the dealership that there is a four-seater available. Secondly, as with a lot of new cars, you don’t use a key to open the door or start the ignition, you just need to have the key on you.

This unfortunately means that you can’t check whether the car is locked because even if you lock it using the key fob, it will still open if you try the door – this is slightly worrying when you are parking a £180,000 car in town and you are slightly obsessive compulsive, like me.

Overall, I loved the car. It looks great and the performance is outstanding. Bentley’s Supersport website states that the car is “engineered for a single purpose, to deliver the most thrilling driving experience imaginable”. They’re certainly not wrong there.

The Bentley Continental Supersport is priced at £172,600 and was provided by Bentley Newcastle, Silverlink Park, Wallsend, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE28 9ND Tel: 0191 295 8050 www.newcastle.bentleymotors.com