While Bentley preps a rebodied, thoroughly revamped version of its Continental coupe and convertible, the current model carries over with the Supersports editions added to the range in the 2010 model year.
With a base price of just under $200,000, the Continental two-doors command fabulous prices--and earn it with great looks and performance that masks some serious road-hugging weight. The pillarless Continental GT coupe reads "sportscar" down its curvaceous flanks, though it's truly massive to behold; the GTC convertible seems more classic, its proportions relaxed by the removal of the roof. The cabin mixes traditional materials and shapes smartly, with Bentley logos, chrome, and wood trim, while the dual binnacles of the dash flank a Breitling timepiece ticking away in the center of the dash, amid square feet of walnut or knurled aluminum.
The stock and trade of the Continental GT lineup is a 6.0-liter, twin-turbocharged, W-12 engine teamed with a six-speed automatic and an all-wheel-drive system. The GT and GTC get the "base" specification of 552 horsepower, along with Bentley's promise of a 0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds despite its thickly padded 5,500-pound curb weight. In the GT Speed and GTC Speed, the W-12 is tuned to make 600 hp, which drops about a half-second off that 0-60 mph time. Above all, the Continental Supersports engine twists out 621 hp, 590 lb-ft of torque, and fires the car to a 3.7-second 0-60 mph time and a claimed 204-mph top speed. Fuel economy is a miserable 10/17 mpg, though the Supersports edition can run on E85-blend ethanol.
Handling fares far better than you might expect in such a hefty car, thanks to an independent air suspension with computer-controlled shocks and a three-mode ride control called Continuous Damping Control (CDC). All versions of the Continental GT are amazingly willing to press hard and deep into corners; the brakes are big and deep--especially the $16,500 optional carbon-ceramic rotors, the most powerful brakes ever found on a production car, Bentley says. Speed editions get lower ride heights and 20-inch wheels, as does the Supersport, which also picks up a reprogrammed transmission for quicker shifting and a wider rear track for improved roadholding.