2010 Bentley Continental Supersports

This is the first modern Bentley I've ever been excited about. Part of the appeal of the Supersports we're testing lies in the fact that virtually everything on the car is black, that the seats feature manual adjustments, and that the materials covering every inch of the interior are as soft and luxurious as it gets. The rest of the Supersports' appeal is apparent as soon as you put even the smallest amount of pressure on the accelerator pedal.

Through some pretty standard engineering changes that include a lot of aluminum suspension components, antiroll bar changes, stiffer bushings, lower ride height, and lighter wheels and brakes, the Supersports feels far lighter than its 4939-pound curb weight suggests. Steering responses are excellent, and the ride is extremely firm, yet never harsh, over brittle pavement. It's a good thing this massive coupe is so easy to control, because there's an astonishing 621 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque available, and it pulls like the proverbial freight train at any speed.

I spent my evening with the Supersports doing as much driving as much as possible, which is a little different from what I typically do when I'm in possession of an ultraexpensive test car: hide it in the garage and pray no freak accident occurs while said car is in my possession. You never forget how much the Supersports costs ($273,515 in this case), but that price seems completely reasonable after a few minutes behind the wheel. This Bentley could be compared with a fine bottle of wine or a custom-tailored suit: those with the means will surely feel that the money was well-spent, and everyone else will be envious.

Detractors might point out the economy's demise, the gas-guzzler tax, and the supposed shift away from conspicuous consumption as reasons that the Continental Supersports shouldn't succeed, but there are still enough wealthy people to satisfy Bentley's limited volume requirements. For those who have worked their way to the top, this Bentley is an excellent reward.

Phil Floraday, Senior Online Editor

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mo_pho
Exquisite yet badass.

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