From £149,350
It's the most powerful Bentley ever - but does that come at the cost of some of the Continental's other qualities?
Andrew Frankel Autocar
8 November 2011

What is it?

Earlier this year, four times WRC champion Juha Kankkunen drove a Bentley Continental Supersports at 205mph on a frozen stretch of the Baltic Sea. Bentley is producing 100 of these catchily titled Bentley Continental Supersports Ice Speed Record, or ‘ISR’, cars in celebration of the Guinness World Record he recorded.

The ISR is many things: at £189,550 it is the most expensive Continental yet produced, and thanks to the 631bhp torrent of power from of its six-litre twin turbo, 12 cylinder motor, it’s also the most powerful Bentley in the company’s 92 year history. Moreover it hits 60mph in 3.8sec which means it is also the most accelerative convertible ever to wear the wings.

To make sure you don’t mistake it for the common-or-garden standard convertible Supersports, the ISR has what even Bentley describes as ‘dramatically extrovert’ styling. On the outside that means black or white paint, and a grey metallic finish to its roof.

Inside, the cabin is dominated by slabs of red carbon fibre with red piping or stitching on the seats, doors, steering wheel and the paddle shifts. Even the Breitling clock has turned red. Meanwhile Alcantara replaces leather on the doors and parts of the seats. Completing the £7450 upgrade package is the new touchscreen navigation system from new generation of Continental GT.

All of the ISR's most garish adornments are both optional and free.

What's it like?

Dynamically it is extraordinary: not because it sets new standards for performance or handling because it doesn’t, but instead for how good it is given its 2395kg weight. It should be the world’s fastest pudding, but it’s not: so long as you stay away from the limit it’s poised, fluent and fast.

Only when you really start lobbing it around does it fall victim to its avoirdupois. You have to adopt a slow-in, fast-out approach to keep the car on line and make the most of its prodigious traction.

But the result is still a car that feels just a little uneasy in its new skin. It looks like it wants to be a true sports car yet it’s at its best touring the wide open spaces where you can make the most of its phenomenal performance and are affected least by the limitations of its weight.


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Should I buy one?

The small upgrade in power is welcome, but I still cannot avoid concluding that if you want a Bentley for touring, the new GTC would be better by far, and if you want one for driving you should choose a Supersports coupe. This attempt to combine the best of both is successful only in parts.

Bentley Continental Supersports ISR

Price: £189,550; 0-60mph: 3.8sec; Top speed: 202mph; Kerb weight: 2395kg; Economy: 17.3mpg; Co2: 388g/km; Engine: W12, 5995cc, petrol, twin turbocharged, longitudinal, four-wheel drive; Max power: 631bhp at 6000rpm; Max torque: 590lb ft at 2000rpm; Gearbox: 6-speed auto.

Join the debate


8 November 2011

Truly Chavtastic!

I am surprised at Bentley.

8 November 2011

Bentley seem to be turning into The Company That Taste Forgot.

8 November 2011

I admit to finding this car strangely alluring, and I generally don't like the current crop of Bentley coupes and cabrios.

8 November 2011

Step one: win Euromillions

Step two: Have any and all sense of taste surgically removed (multiple electric shock therapy should cover it)

Step three: Buy this car

8 November 2011

[quote Autocar]

Only when you really start lobbing it around does it fall victim to its avoirdupois.


Well done to Andrew Frankel for slipping the word "avoirdupois" into a motoring review.

8 November 2011

there's nothing wrong with a bit of bentley bling. at £189,550 its quite cheap. i'll just put the house on sale. there goes the neighbourhood....

8 November 2011

A car designed specifically for Justin Bieber and his (LA) contemporaries?

8 November 2011

I thought this was going to be one of those silly breaking news/german modification headlines Autocar rustles up every now and then. But it is the real thing! Dear me...

8 November 2011

Does it come with a free tracksuit and Bentley monogrammed Burrbry Gap?

This is the Barry Boys special no doubt horrid................

8 November 2011

Blimey...they've turned a British icon of taste and performance into a naff colour and trim excercise. Just right for the mucky neauveau-riche.

Old money buys Rolls-Royces I presume.


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