2010 Bentley Continental Supersports

I can usually approach these rare examples of rolling sensuality with a strong enough sense of reason that I can drive them without slobbering all over the steering wheel. The Supersports cracked me. I love this car, and I want one.

The power delivery is absolutely astonishing, made even better by the amount of grip that the all-wheel drive provides. I loved hitting red lights, because it served as an opportunity to launch away at green in a dignified, powerful roar of W-12. The amount of stick is also what makes the handling so good; you can whip around corners without ever worrying about your $275,000 car becoming a 4939-pound telephone-pole eater.

With the Supersports, I was actually expecting fewer lavish features and was surprised at how well-equipped this car was, particularly the power-operated trunk lid. That said, there are plenty of places where you can see why this car is called the Supersports, namely the hyperfirm, manual-adjusting seats, the brace in the cabin, and the carbon-fiber panels. The few creaks in the cabin are a common result of adding (carbon fiber) plastic and removing the soft stuff that keeps it quiet. In this car, the rattles didn't bother me one bit.

I agree that the shift paddles are slightly out of place. Joe could be correct that they need to move down and closer to the wheel, but I think the biggest issue is that they radiate too far from the steering column. Tucking them in a bit would allow your hands to cup the wheel and hit the paddles, rather than keeping fingers rigidly straight to shift. Of course, leaving the transmission to shift on its own in sport mode is hardly a punishment.

Eric Tingwall, Associate Editor

Exquisite yet badass.

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