This was the first time Sonic was able to turn himself into Super Sonic with all the Chaos Emeralds. The only reason I was able to play as him was because of a cheat device or the cheat code that Sega had inputted themselves.
This gave Sonic a new sense of speed. You are also invincible.
Though you needed 100 rings to activate the transformation and the hundred rings would serve as a clock and you would return to normal when you ran out.