Gee, I feel really bad for the Car & Driver testers, it must be really hard to spend three days in Northern Italy checking out some of the most serious coupes on the planet. The contestants: the new Aston Martin DB9, the Bentley Continental GT, the Mercedes-Benz CL600, and the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti F1. The biggest surprise of the group is the second-place Benz, with supreme thrust, room in back for adults, and the lowest price, a relative bargain at $130,000. The Aston was pretty terrific as well, but it broke down and wouldn't start back up, making its excellent handling unusable. The Bentley is substantial and impressive looking, but not nearly as sporting as the other members of the group; it's a car to be seen in. Of course the Ferrari wins the comparo by packing that mystical driving ingredient that stirs the so-called soul, at a ridiculous price that when optioned out starts to creep up on three bills.

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