FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Careful readers of this column may recall that we reviewed another new Bentley Continental Supersports back in July. But, hey, who wouldn’t want to drive two Bentley Continentals if they got the chance? Plus: the July Supersports was different from this one. Namely, its back seat had been removed and then replaced by two carbon-fiber-framed buckets. That saved a good amount of weight in a car that’s been branded “the fastest Bentley in history.” The Continental we drove for this month’s review, by contrast, boasted the standard Bentley interior—including the “regular” back seat. And, guess what: the Supersports still seemed super-fast, despite the extra weight.
BOTTOM LINE: This latest Bentley, which was painted fire-engine red, spun heads around town like you wouldn’t believe. Which isn’t surprising. After all, the Continental is race-car sleek and boasts an aggressive-looking grille and big, 20-inch, 10-spoke wheels with a smoked steel finish. Inspecting the wheels up-close, one admirer whistled: “Those are the biggest disk brakes I’ve ever seen. They’re huge!” They may need to be, since the all-wheel-drive Supersports generates 621 horses, jets from 0 to 60 in 3.7 seconds, and can hit a top speed of 204 mph. (That’s right: 204.)
TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY: You sit low and snug in the Bentley, enveloped by gleaming chrome and butter-soft, dark-leather seats. The air conditioner blasts strong and there’s a charming, old-fashioned Breitling clock in the middle of the dash and really just one flaw: the rear window, which is so small that it’s tough to see out the back. But, one could get used to that “hardship” quick. If you can afford the sticker and appreciate the Bentley’s combination of power, speed, and hand-crafted beauty, the 2010 Continental Supersports is a cool way to show the world that you’ve “arrived.” There are other, distinctively Dallas-style advantages as well. After I parked the Supersports in front of the D offices one day, the security guard at the front desk told me, “A girl came by and asked, ‘Who owns the Bentley? I’m lookin’ for a sugar daddy!’”