2010 Bentley Continental Supersports
Big, graceful, race-bred Bentleys are certainly nothing new. Since the early ‘20s, they’ve earned the company six Le Mans wins and the prestige that goes along with them. Indeed, super-luxurious Bentley four-doors have basked in the limelight for decades now. But, for 2010, Bentley has built a very special coupe, and revived the Supersports name to go with it. So, we jumped at the chance to see just how super it really is.
The 2010 Bentley Continental Supersports’ silhouette is little changed from its less potent Continental stablemates. They all share a 108.1-inch wheelbase and a 189.1-inch overall length, but racy styling cues help this fastest Bentley ever stand out.
A central ‘letterbox’ intake and two vertical apertures in the front fascia feed 10% more air through the Supersports’ radiator and intercoolers. All of the mesh on the front end- from the intakes to the familiar Continental grille to the twin heat extractors in the hood- is finished in the same “smoked steel” as the headlight bezels, 20-inch ten-spoke alloy wheels, and rocker panel trim.
Classic big-coupe good looks have worked just fine for the Continental so far, and the Supersports is no exception. Well-drawn body lines sweep over wider rear fender flares, which accommodate a two-inch wider rear track.
From behind, the Supersports is distinguished by smoked taillights and larger-diameter exhaust outlets set in a narrow black surround. The overall effect is a very menacing Bentley.
For motivation, the Supersports relies on the same 6.0-liter, twin-turbo W12 that has been under the Continental’s hood since its debut in 2004. But this time around, there’s 621 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque on tap.
That’s a bump of 21 horses and 37 pound-feet over the Continental GT Speed, and a leap of 69 horsepower and 111 pound-feet over the Continental GT. The heavily-revised ZF six-speed ‘Quickshift’ automatic with wheel-mounted paddle shifters is the only available transmission, and it cuts fuel and ignition between gear changes for lightning-quick shifts. In ‘Sport’ mode, they’re almost telepathic.
The extra power hauls a car featuring lightweight wheels, carbon-ceramic brakes, revised aluminum suspension components, and no rear seats. All told, the Supersports weighs in at 4,939 pounds, 243 pounds lighter than the GT Speed.
At the track, it was a velvet sledgehammer. Power builds up fast and smooth, and its baritone around-town burble gave way to a primal roar at wide-open throttle. Our Supersports blazed from a standstill to 60 in 3.9 seconds-that’s eight tenths quicker than the GT-and through the quarter mile in 12.3 seconds at 115 miles per hour, figures that put it in the same league as much more spartan supercars.
Through the slalom, the all-wheel drive Supersports’ revised dampers and anti-roll bars, coupled with its new 40/60 rear-biased torque split, made for quick, neutral responses in corners.
Steering has been retuned too, and we found it to be quick and direct but with little feedback. Being ham-fisted results in understeer, while being overzealous with the gas tipped the Supersports over into power oversteer. For being as big and heavy as it is, however, the Supersports is very agile, with minimal body roll even in high-speed maneuvers.
Those big carbon-ceramic brakes snapped it all to a dead halt from 60 in a very impressive average of 109 feet. The pedal is soft, but travel is short, and stops were stable and fade-free.
For all the dynamic gains on the track, the Supersports loses a little refinement on the road. The ride is somewhat stiffer, but nothing we couldn’t put up with. Bentley-exclusive manually adjustable Sparco sports seats were noticeably thin on padding, but generously trimmed in leather and diamond-pattern Alcantara and still very comfortable.
The dash largely carries over from the regular Continental, with a substantial center stack and two “wings”- in the Supersports’ case, trimmed in leather and faced in carbon fiber.
The biggest difference from the driver’s seat is the leather three-spoke steering wheel. And, as usual, Bentley has the details perfect, from the Breitling clock and organ-stop vent controls to the drilled alloy sports pedals.
Now, there’s only room for two, but they’ll enjoy standard satellite navigation, front and side curtain airbags, and 10-speaker sound.
As you might surmise, Government Fuel Economy ratings are low: 12 city, 19 highway. Our test loop returned 13.9 miles per gallon on premium gas. But Bentley has become eco-minded. By summer, the Supersports will be the first Bentley that runs on E85, and by 2012, the entire lineup will be FlexFuel capable. Available now in very limited numbers, the Supersports starts at $272,195 including a $2,600 gas guzzler tax.
The 2010 Bentley Continental Supersports delivers such astonishing performance that the slight ride penalty is easily overlooked. It’s more like its famous racer namesakes than any road-going Bentley ever built, and is indeed a fitting tribute to those proud Winged ‘B’ warriors.
- Engine: 6.0-Liter, Twin-turbo W12
- Horsepower: 621
- Torque: 590 Lb Feet
- 0-60 MPH: 3.9 Seconds
- 1/4 Mile: 12.3 Seconds @ 115 MPH
- 60-0 MPH: 109 Feet
- EPA: 12 MPG City/ 19 MPG Highway
- Mixed Loop: 13.9 MPG
2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid
Crossed Up Corolla Gets More Efficient
Toyota offers a hybrid powertrain in just about everything they make, so it did seem odd that last year, when they debuted an all-new SUV version of their long-time best-selling Corolla, a hybrid was nowhere to be found. Well, it didn’t take long for Toyota to correct that situation, delivering this Corolla Cross Hybrid for 2023.
With prices for everything seemingly going up daily, we can all use a little more cost efficiency in our lives. That’s a mission that Toyota has been undertaking for some time now and continues to do it with this 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid.
The Alabama-built Corolla Cross arrived just last year as Toyota’s attempt to bring their best-selling nameplate into the SUV era, and give them an additional entry into the most popular automotive segment going right now, small crossovers.
There are some RAV4 styling cues here, but the Corolla Cross is mostly its own deal, and the Hybrid is more than just a fuel efficient option, it has added performance too. So, it’s offered only in Toyota’s S line of trims S, SE, and XSE, where the standard Corolla Cross is available in base L, LE, and XLE.
There are some differences outside, most notably unique front and rear fasicas; the front with a much more aggressive look, with larger grille and blacked-out trim.
Black trim and logos in back too, along with a redesigned bumper; plus, you can optionally go 2-tone by adding black paint to the roof.
Great packaging has it feeling roomier inside than most small 5-seat utes, straddling the line between subcompact and compact. And seats are way more comfortable than your typical urban-minded utility.
In fact, the entire interior feels quite upscale, and the layout will be very familiar to those stepping up from an actual Corolla.
Those who put off buying a Corolla Cross until now will be rewarded with upgraded infotainment, as all Hybrid’s will come with Toyota’s latest 8-inch touchscreen multimedia system standard.
The Hybrid’s small battery is located under the rear seat, so there’s minimal loss of rom, with a good 21.5 cubic-ft. of cargo space available; expanding to 61.8 with rear seatbacks folded.
Getting to the heart of the matter, the Corolla Cross Hybrid’s fuel-sipping ways are courtesy of the 5th generation of Toyota’s Hybrid System which outputs a combined 196-horsepower through its trio of electric motors and naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine. One of those motors operating strictly the rear axle for standard all-wheel-drive.
At our test track, there was a nice little chirp of the tires off the line, but that’s where the excitement ended.
So while a 7.5-second trip to 60 may not raise your blood pressure, it’s a full 3-seconds quicker than the standard Corolla Cross we tested last year. We’ll take that!
CVT automatic means engine revs and engine noise both hang relatively high throughout the whole ¼-mile, which took us 15.6-seconds to complete, finishing at a reasonable 90 miles-per-hour.
The Hybrid also gets a “sport-tuned” suspension, and indeed it felt light and nimble through our cone course, very neutral too, with no noticeable understeer or oversteer. Steering was light but still provided good feedback. With some grippier tires, this would certainly give the best handlers in the segment a run for their money.
But the real reward comes in Government Fuel Economy Ratings which are 45-City, 38-Highway, and 42-Combined. We averaged a great 43.3 miles-per-gallon of Regular; that’s a 40% increase over the 30.9 miles-per-gallon we averaged in the standard Corolla Cross last year.
But, that does come at a cost, though it’s difficult to make direct comparisons with separate trim families, but pricing starts at $29,320 for the Hybrid, about 3-grand over a base all-wheel-drive non-hybrid. Top XSE comes in at $32,400.
As influential as Toyota is in spreading the hybrid doctrine, it was indeed odd that the Corolla Cross arrived last year without a hybrid option. Smartly, it didn’t take them long to right that wrong, as it was always part of the plan, and the Corolla Cross has benefitted from it greatly. The 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid is not just more efficient, it’s more capable, and a much better small utility all around.
- Engine: 2.0-liter 4-cylinder
- Horsepower: 196
- 0-60 mph: 7.5-seconds
- MW Fuel Economy: 43.3 MPG (Regular)
- Transmission: e-CVT
- Torque: 139 lb-ft
- 1/4 Mile: 15.6-seconds at 90 mph
- EPA: 45-City, 38-Highway, and 42-Combined