I'm standing at the edge of a cliff, speechless. I'm looking at the Trollstigen – a serpentine pass with 11 hairpin turns, running down the side of a mountain in western Norway. I've seen this road before in photos, but in person, I'm both giddy and in awe. The pavement looks like haphazardly draped garland on this perfect bit of sculpted land. The Trollstigen ("Trolls' Path" in English) is a huge tourist attraction, and I can see why. But I'm about to have way more fun than the pedestrians who made their way to the summit in buses and shuttles. I'm going to drive this road. In a Bentley. The crew in Crewe claim their Continental GT is the finest grand tourer in the world. And along the Trollstigen, not to mention the other winding roads in western Norway, that's easy to believe. The Continental is big and beautiful. It's supremely comfortable. It has everything a driver or passenger could ask for. And good golly, is it powerful. Bentley introduced the Continental GT in 2003, with a second generation arriving in 2011. For better or worse, the changes for 2016 are minor. This isn't an all-new Conti, rather a light refresh in order to bolster what the big Bentley already does well. I'm not sure if these updates – particularly the front fascia – improve upon the original formula. The most obvious change for 2016 is the front bumper. It's been restyled to incorporate more aggressive fenders and a lower air intake that spans the full width of the car. Around back, there's a subtle lip spoiler built into the deck lid. V8 S and Speed models get a new rear diffuser. Fancy new side vents are present on all models, with a big metallic "B" shape. Finally, new 20- and 21-inch wheel options are available, including attractive directional alloys available on GT Speed models. But I'm not sure if these updates – particularly the front fascia – improve upon the original formula. Less obvious are the interior updates. There are new colors, as well as a straight-fluting pattern on the seats (GT Speed models get a super luxurious quilted pattern). LED lights accent the cabin. The lighting in the instrument panel and on the center stack is brighter and more crisp. You can get WiFi in the car, and can connect up to eight devices at once. But these improvements don't fix longstanding grievances with the Continental interior. For starters, the infotainment system is horrendously outdated and slow to respond. Many of the controls look their age, even alongside an updated steering wheel and resurfaced shift paddles. The main gear lever reminds me of a Volkswagen Passat circa 2005. The V8 feels like more of an athlete, compared to the larger, brutish W12. Make no mistake, the Continental's cabin is still a wonderful place to spend time. Every single surface looks and feels great. It's supremely quiet at speed, but isn't so isolated that you can't hear the throaty …
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|MPG||14 City / 24 Hwy|
|Power||500 @ 6000 rpm|
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