Bentley Azure Automatic
Keywords: automotive news resources, car news, 2010 bentley azure t
Description: With 738 lb-ft of torque, Bentley bestows an extra helping of excess upon its top-down testament to wretched excess.
With 738 lb-ft of torque, Bentley bestows an extra helping of excess upon its top-down testament to wretched excess.
Really? Of all the cars on the market today that need to muscle up, Bentley’s $342,000 land yacht, the palatial Azure convertible, definitely isn’t one of them. With some 450 horsepower and a prodigious 645 lb-ft of torque available from its twin-turbocharged 6.8-liter V-8, the base Azure can hit 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, a figure that is in no need of improvement, frankly. More to the point—who the hell wants to go hyperspeed in a 6000-pound ragtop, anyway?
In reality, customers interested in fast Bentleys probably aren’t looking at Azures. not with the far faster, far more agile Continental GT/GTC in the same showroom. The more prestigious Azure’s appeal, on the other hand, stems from its inexorable snob factor and old-world opulence—both attributes best savored at relaxed speeds. Indeed, we speculate most Azures will share garage space with a pricey sports car or two that satiate the owner’s occasional need for speed, and thus the likelihood of any Azure T getting tail-happy on a twisty road, or, heaven forbid, hustling around a racetrack is about the same as that of the Queen of England entering an Ultimate Fighting competition.
Yet here it is, gliding in for its world debut at the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show. the long bonnet bristling with the same powertrain enhancements found in the Azure’s fixed-roof relative, the Brooklands. Output is mighty impressive at 500 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque, which, according to Bentley, affords a 0-to-60-mph time of 5.2 seconds, and a top speed that rises from an already lofty 171 mph to 179 mph.
The visual enhancements: unique 20-inch five-spoke wheels, bespoke grille treatment, a retractable “flying B” hood ornament, twin oval exhaust tips, sundry unique interior bits, diamond-patterned seat stitching, engine-turned aluminum dash panels, and available carbon-ceramic brakes.
Now, while there’s something utterly ridiculous about bestowing this sort of power to a car with such leisurely proclivities, Bentley’s decision to stick the sledgehammer motor into the Azure can be seen as a timely response—and a decidedly German one at that—to the $428,000 Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé. which wafts about with a BMW V-12 that dishes up 453 horsepower and 531 lb-ft of torque. As such, the 5800-pound Rolls can reach 60 mph in 5.7 seconds on its way to a (governed) top speed of 155 mph, effectively matching the real-world performance of the base Azure. With its clearly superior straight-line performance, then, the Azure T puts the age-old question of who makes the fastest $350,000-plus, three-ton, air-bludgeoning British convertible to rest.
Bentley expects to send us fewer than 100 per year once it goes on sale in fall of 2009. Price is yet to be determined, but will likely be about 10 percent higher than the Azure, if the 2009 pricing of the Arnage T (approx. $254,000) versus the Arnage R (approx. $232,000) is anything to go by. In other words, don’t expect much change from your $370,000 bill.
Photogallery Bentley Azure Automatic:
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