As had been the case with the original
Bentley Continental 40 years before,
the Continental R body shape was wind-tunnel proven, the well-contoured form
and carefully raked windsceen proving their worth with notably
lower Cd (drag coefficient)than the current cars. This also brough benefits
in reduced fuel consumption and enhanced performance.
It is worth recording that when the Continental R was unveiled at Geneva,
it was one of the few occasions on which the assembled throng has
broken into spontaneous applause at the first sight of a new car.
The Continental R interior styling
was reassuringly familiar, with similar seating
to that of the Turbo R and a basically similar layout to the instruments
and control panels, except that the centre console extends into the rear compartment.
The electric gear range selector is mounted in the centre console - the first time
that this has been anywhere other than on the steering column on an automatic Bentley.
The automatic transmission itself is also new, having four forward speeds with
direct drive in third and an overdrive fourth speed for even more effortless
low rpm cruising and improved fuel economy.
The responsiveness and performance
of the Continental R models ,
which were already remarkable by any standards, were further improved by the development of
Electronic Transient Boost Control.
This temporarily overrides the turbocharger's
normal maximum boost when full load acceleration is required,
effectively over-boosting the engine during the initial stages of heavy acceleration, such as when overtaking.
On 7 March 1995, at
the Geneva Motor Show, Rolls-Royce unveiled a convertible version of the
which it called the Bentley Azure.
The higher power and tourque outputs make themselves felt
in increased performance
acceleration from 0-60mph is now achieved in under 6 seconds, with a maximum speed of 155mph
and yet fuel economy has been improved. The Continental R is the grand tourer par excellence, its
combination of effortless overtaking ability, comfort and stamina making it possible to despatch the miles
with beguiling ease.
The grand tourer par excellence, with a sporting, cockpit-like interior that nonetheless accommodates
four in great comfort. The turbocharged and intercooled engine, in its latest guise providing 385bhp and
553lbft of torque, is both more powerful and more economical, giving this long-striding coupe true
continent-covering ability. Detail refinements, inside and out, increase still further the pleasures of owning
this rare and beautiful sporting motor car.