This must be the coolest Bentley ever -- or at least from the past fifty years (the 1950s R-type Continental was pretty sweet, too). The Supersports' quilted, carbon-fiber cabin is lovely, but the all-black exterior is truly breathtaking. I especially adore those luscious ten-spoke wheels, which are wrapped in Pirelli rubber and barely hide the hulking carbon-ceramic discs beneath.
I didn't get to spend much time in the priciest Conti, but it struck me as possibly the smoothest superquick car I've driven. Indeed, for all its power (621 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque), it doesn't really feel high-strung or at all touchy around town. Fortunately, the engine, and its awesome turbo-whooshing accompaniment, still sounds great.
I'd love to have the opportunity to drive this car across any speed-limit-less continent. The Sportsports has a surprising amount of luggage space, what with its deep trunk and its package shelf where the vestigial rear seats once lived. The interior ambience is very nice, although the cabin isn't quite as elegant and well-wrought, in my opinion, as what you'd find in an Aston Martin. Having said that, the Bentley's organ-stop HVAC vent controls are a personal fave of mine. The superthirsty twin-turbo twelve-cylinder (EPA rated at 12/19 mpg city/highway) would necessitate fairly frequent filling of the Bentley's 24-gallon fuel tank, however, on any long-distance, high-speed journey.
Like Joe, I think the shift paddles are placed too high. In fact, I the entire steering wheel (which is almost as grippy as flypaper) was too high, even in its lowest position. The manually adjustable racing-style seat, with no height adjustment, is probably to blame. Also, this car must have the heaviest doors this side of an old Cadillac Coupe de Ville, and I noticed a creaking sound emanating from near the rearview mirror. Nonetheless, I classify these complaints as inconsequential British-car idiosyncrasies; the Bentley Supersports is a gloriously cool automobile.
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor