Sunken 820 feet beneath the frigid Atlantic Ocean along Norway’s coast is the Atlanterhavstunnelen or Atlantic Ocean Tunnel. This three-mile-long engineering marvel, which serves as a crucial link for the region’s residents, is so designed that vehicles entering from Kirkelandet Island plummet down a steep 10-percent grade before bottoming out and climbing up out of the deep passage. I expected some claustrophobia from driving far beneath the sea, but I did not expect the choking cloud of combustion exhaust — dirty air is heavier than clean air — that had puddled in the concrete tube.
It was the only time during my test of the 2016 Bentley Continental GT W12 Convertible that I wanted to close the roof of this exceptional motorcar. Had I deployed the thick, four-layer heavily insulated, power-operated top before my deep dive below the Norwegian Sea, the climate control system would have passed the tunnel’s turgid air through an active carbon microfilter to scrub it clean. Instead of tasting soot, I would have been enjoying the aroma of traditionally tanned leather.
Next time, I mused.