2016 Bentley Continental GT Review

Continental GT

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2016 Bentley Continental GT Overview

Traditionally a symbol of wealth and prestige, the 2016 Bentley Continental GT also happens to be the British luxury automaker’s flagship model. The high-end 4-passenger coupe features standard all-wheel drive (AWD) to ensure that the ride to the corner office, the stage set, or the polo match will not be deterred by inclement weather. And the recent addition of a V8 powerplant to the lineup has overcome initial skepticism (given the traditional W12 engine's legendary power) by combining potent performance with needed improvement in the sedan's agility. But make no mistake--this combination of power and plush, no matter which engine and trim you choose, is going to set you back some serious cash.

In any case, the 2016 Continental GT returns in 4 trim variations: the entry-level V8, the up-powered V8 S, the base W12, and the GT Speed. All GT iterations again offer premium cabin room, ambiance, and comfort, although trunk space remains a less-than-impressive 12.6 cubic feet.

A number of notable upgrades distinguish the 2016 Continental GT lineup from previous years. A smaller grille is complemented by reworked front fenders with low-slung air dams. There is a redesigned trunk lid, and the standard 20-inch (V8, V8 S, and W12) and 21-inch (GT Speed) alloy wheels receive a facelift as well. Interior comfort becomes even more impressive, with softer standard leather upholstery, a revised center console, an improved gauge cluster, and newly available WiFi hotspot capability. And there is even a choice of 3 new exterior colors: Marlin, Camel, and Jetstream.

Look too for an additional 15 hp and 15 lb-ft of torque from the tweaked 12-cylinder (W12) powerplant for 2016, with the added bonus of newly installed automatic cylinder shutdown at cruising speeds, a feature once reserved for the V8.

The 2016 Continental GT V8 and V8 S trims keep their 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine, putting out 500 hp and 487 lb-ft of torque in the base V8 trim and 521 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque in the V8 S. The force-fed V8 is managed by an 8-speed shiftable automatic transmission in both trims, with mileage estimates of 15 mpg city/25 highway/19 combined.

Both the 2016 Continental GT W12 and its GT Speed sibling boast the newly up-powered 6.0-liter Flex-Fuel W12 (12-cylinder) engine, now producing 582 hp and 531 lb-ft of torque in base form, and 626 hp and 607 lb-ft of torque in the GT Speed. Each of these trims employs the 8-speed shiftable automatic, with EPA fuel economy estimates not yet available. The automatic transmission again comes with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters in all trims.

Returning standard aboard the 2016 Continental GT are performance tires, power-tilting rear-view mirrors, heated power-adjustable front seats, full power accessories, and memory for driver settings. Cruise control and telescoping tilt-wheel steering also remain standard, as do upscale perks such as a remote garage door opener, front and rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera, and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror. Standard technology includes Bluetooth hands-free calling, GPS navigation, and a premium audio system boasting 8 speakers, a CD/DVD player, satellite radio, and a video monitor.

As you move up the 2016 Continental trim ladder, look for the V8 S to offer a sportier suspension and a more aerodynamic profile, plus a few upgrades to cabin materials and accents, while the GT Speed adds the newly reworked 21-inch alloy wheels, drilled aluminum pedals, a jeweled fuel cap, additional genuine wood and premium leather accents, and a power-opening trunk lid.

Options again include a pair of Mulliner packages that offer further over-the-top interior and exterior trim upgrades, ventilated and massaging front seats, carbon-ceramic disc brakes, a sport exhaust system, red-painted brake calipers, and a Naim premium stereo upgrade. A Convenience package offers adaptive cruise control and distinctive cabin décor. And keep in mind that Bentley, now a division of Volkswagen AG, allows consumers to personalize each of its vehicles with virtually unlimited materials, gizmos, and colors using its Personal Commission program.

Standard safety equipment aboard the 2016 Continental GT includes 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front and rear side-mounted airbags, front and rear head protection airbags, and a driver’s knee airbag. Daytime running lights, front fog/driving lights, and turn-signal-integrated mirrors also return standard, as do self-leveling high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights and a remote antitheft alarm.

The 2016 Continental GT will challenge such rivals as Aston Martin’s super-agile DB9, Maserati’s seductively styled GranTurismo, and Rolls-Royce’s over-the-top Phantom.

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Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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