Driven: 2010 Bentley Continental Supersports

Since the Supersports carries plenty of mass and momentum, prompt and reliable deceleration is as important as prodigious forward thrust. That's why this is the only Bentley that comes with carbon-ceramic disc brakes as standard equipment. What the brakes don't neutralize is taken care of by the electronic stability control, which has three settings. We recommend Sport as the most entertaining mix between carving and sliding. Out of the four ride programs (Comfort, Normal, and Sport 1 and 2), Sport 1 offers the best blend of body control and compliance. Despite the fat Pirelli PZero tires fitted to the black, twenty-inch wheels, the Supersports is not a bone-crusher. Quite the contrary: the ride could almost be described as supple, and the air-sprung chassis combines distinct filtering qualities with the kind of haptic transparency that helps to read the road.

Priced at $273,295 and available now, the Continental Supersports is not a limited-edition model. The hefty $59,300 premium over the GT Speed buys, first and foremost, a transformation of character from grand tourer to hard-core sports car. Matching cosmetic changes include new footwear, extra air intakes in the front bumper, additional air vents in the hood, and large oval tailpipes. Among the newly introduced options is a cool matte-finish paint that will set you back an uncool $32,360. If our first brief driving impressions are anything to go by, this is without question the best of the modern Bentleys. True, it still weighs too much and drinks too much. But the performance is simply awesome, the chassis is tuned to a new level of compliance, and the incredibly well-balanced controls - steering, brakes, throttle, shift paddles - make this big beast exceptionally user-friendly.

The Specs
On sale: Now
Price: $273,295
Engine: 6.0L twin-turbo W-12, 621 hp, 590 lb-ft
Drive: 4-wheel

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