2019 Bentley Continental GT First Drive: A Grand Grand Tourer
– Reith, Austria
The views from the Grossglockner High Alpine Road are spectacular – when the low clouds recede, that is. Thirty miles of road are tangled up into 36 corners that snake up and down mountains near the Italian border, peaking as high as 8,215 feet amid the snow-capped peaks. It’s a helluva place to test out the 2019 Bentley Continental GT. Partly, yes, because a journey like this from Austria down through Italy recalls the “grand touring” types of trips for which this class of car was designed. But also because Bentley used this very mountain pass during development work to put its newest Continental GT to the test.
No surprise, then, that the new car doesn’t skip a beat on Grossglockner. Nor does it skip a beat anywhere else on my drive, where the Bentley luxury coupe feels improved in every way: compared to its predecessor, it is lighter, more powerful, quieter inside, sportier behind the wheel, and even more comfortable.
For lightness, Bentley managed to strip 176 pounds from the Continental GT, bringing curb weight to 4,947 pounds. Much of that mass was dropped by making more of the body from aluminum, as well as from improved assembly methods like increased use of structural adhesives rather than welding. That diet happens even though the new car grows by 1.7 inches in length and adds many new technologies.