In 2022, Bentley revived the Azure name as a new package with a focus on occupant comfort and luxury. Now, the brand is showing off a bespoke example of a Continental GT with this equipment that pays homage to a 1953 R-Type Continental in the automaker's heritage collection.
Bentley delivered that R-Type Continental to Dr. Rowland Guenin of Switzerland in December 1953. He specified it with an ivory exterior and red cabin. The automaker acquired the vehicle in 2001 and restored it to be just like when the coupe left the factory.
Gallery: Continental GT Azure Inspired By 1953 R-Type Continental
This matching Continental GT Azure wears the shade Old English White, which is a close match to the ivory shade on the '53 R-Type. Bright chrome trim accentuates areas like the grille and along the flanks. It rides on 22-inch wheels with a black and polished finish.
The cabin of this Continental GT Azure features Cricket Ball brown leather, rather than the red seats in the R-Type. Both vehicles have Burr Walnut wood veneer covering the dashboard. For the modern car, Bentley gives it an open-pore finish so that there's a patina similar to the material in the classic vehicle. For contrast, other bits of trim are Australian straight grain veneer with a boxwood inlay and gold overlay. The R-Type Continental's silhouette is on the treadplates.
The Azure pack includes quite a bit of equipment. The Front Seat Comfort Specification adds massaging seats with six programmable settings. It also gets the Bentley Dynamic Ride system with active anti-roll bars for keeping the car from leaning in corners. The Touring Specification features adaptive cruise control, lane assist, traffic assist, and infrared cameras for identifying pedestrians, cyclists, or animals that are outside of the headlights' beam. There's a heads-up display, too.
This custom Continental GT Azure will be part of Bentley’s UK press fleet.
The R-Type Continental debuted in 1952. They featured a 4.6-litre inline-six making 153 bhp (114 kilowatts). A prototype managed to lap the banked Montlhèry racetrack near Paris at an average of 118.75 miles per hour (191.1 kilometres per hour) over five laps. This made it among the fastest four-seat vehicle that a person could buy at the time. Bentley made 208 examples of them when production ended in 1955.