The new Azure T, specified with the high performance version of Crewe’s iconic 6¾ litre V8 engine, is the latest in a line of Bentley models to bear the ‘T’ legend. The 1996 Continental coupe was the first modern Bentley ‘T’, followed in 2002 by the Arnage T, both flagship models with a distinctive sporting character and thunderous performance.
The Azure’s already striking form is now enhanced by 20-inch 5-spoke wheels and tyres, ‘Le Mans’ front wing vents, dark tint matrix grille and a sculpted, retractable Flying ‘B’ mascot.
For the performance-oriented Azure T, the twin-turbocharged V8 engine produces 500bhp and 1000 Nm of torque – an 11 per cent increase in power and a 14 per cent increase in torque over its 450bhp/875 Nm Azure stable mate.
The famous Bentley wave of torque is even more prodigious than before and performance is significantly raised with a top speed of 179 mph (288 km/h) and a 0-60 mph time of just 5.2 seconds (0-100 km/h in 5.5 sec). Member of the Board, Sales and Marketing, Stuart McCullough comments:
“The new Azure T reflects our passion for creating the world’s most exhilarating and prestigious convertibles that, true to the Bentley T tradition, blend sophistication with a powerful presence.”
BENTLEY AZURE T – NEWS IN BRIEF
Exterior design styling changes, as standard, include:
20-inch five-spoke ‘Bright Finish’ alloy wheels
Retractable ‘Flying B’ bonnet mascot
Dark tint matrix upper and lower grilles
‘Le Mans’ lower front wing air vents
Bentley ‘Jewel’ fuel filler cap
Twin exhaust tail pipes
Choice of 42 exterior paint colours
Interior design enhancements, as standard, include:
Diamond quilting to seats and door panels
Drilled alloy brake and accelerator pedals
‘Engine-turned’ aluminium finish to fascia
Instrument faces in black
Embroidered ‘Bentley’ emblems to front seats and rear seat centre
Choice of 8 unbleached veneers and 25 hides from full Bentley range
Knurled finish to: organ stops, mirror adjustors, door handles (interior and exterior), light switch and seat lumbar controls
Knurled & chromed gear knob
Further enhancements to the standard Azure T specification include:
Large display audio head unit with Secure Digital (SD) memory card slot
Hide covered boot rail
Further enhancements to the Azure T optional specification include:
‘Naim for Bentley’ premium audio system delivering the world’s best in-car sound stage and featuring 10 speakers, a dual channel sub-woofer and an 1100 Watt amplifier, plus eight individual Digital Signal Processor (DSP) modes to reproduce true emotions and a ‘live’ concert-like experience.
Arnage T powertrain with 6¾ litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine, producing 500bhp and 1000 Nm of torque – increases of 11% and 14 % respectively
Top speed raised to 179 mph (288 km/h).
0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds (0-100 km/h in 5.5 seconds).
Acceleration to 100 mph cut to 12.1 seconds (0-160 km/h in 12.0 seconds).
Six-speed ZF automatic transmission with sophisticated locking torque converter provides fast yet ultra-smooth gearshifts
Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) logic system improves dynamic response and handling with less intrusive intervention when a reduction in grip is detected
Tyre Pressure Monitoring System fitted as standard
A UNIQUE OPEN-TOP MOTORING EXPERIENCE
Based on the Azure, the Azure T offers a range of discreet exterior cues that further enhance its powerful stance and hint at its increased performance potential. Key ingredients of its distinctive appearance include design features 20-inch five-spoke, two-piece alloy wheels and ‘Le Mans’ lower front wing air vents.
Further distinguishing points from the Azure are standard features such as dark-tinted upper and lower grilles, ‘jewel’ fuel filler cap (made from billet aluminium) and door mirror mountings finished in body colour.
Like the Bentley Brooklands, the Azure T sports the iconic Flying ‘B’ mascot, which can retract neatly into the grille surround. Originally designed by motoring artist F. Gordon Crosby, the ‘B’ was first used on the 1930 Bentley 8-Litre.
EFFORTLESS PERFORMANCE FROM MIGHTY V8
The engine and transmission of the Azure T are identical to those already employed in the high-performance Arnage T and Arnage Final Series saloons. In this specification, Bentley’s remarkable all-aluminium 6¾ litre V8 engine produces 500 bhp (507PS/373kW) and 1000 Nm (738lb ft) of torque – with over 90 per cent of that torque available between 1,800 and 3,800 rev/min – figures that ensure the signature Bentley ‘wave of torque’ delivers effortless performance for a unique open-top convertible driving experience.
Each of these hand-made V8 engines comes with a black-finish air intake manifold bearing the signature of the team leader who oversaw its construction by Bentley technicians in the Crewe factory. The six-speed ZF automatic transmission ensures optimum flexibility, response and refinement. Three transmission modes (Drive, Sport and Manual) allow the driver to take full advantage of the powerful 500 bhp V8 engine.
A sophisticated electronic management system provides fast yet smooth gearshifts regardless of how the car is being driven. Another important feature of the latest Azure T is the separation of the sports suspension and sports gearbox settings, allowing the driver to select their preference for each system independently – via a ‘Sport’ switch on the dashboard for the suspension and by positioning the gearlever for the transmission’s Sport mode.
Bentley’s V8 guarantees outstanding performance levels. From standstill, acceleration to 60 mph is achieved in just 5.2 seconds (0-100 km/h 5.5 seconds), 100 mph reached in 12.1 seconds (160 km/h in 12.0 seconds) and a top speed of 179 mph (288 km/h) is possible.
DYNAMIC HANDLING, SUPERB RIDE AND AWESOME BRAKING
The Azure’s double wishbone front and rear suspension is carried over to the Azure T unaltered. Set-up and fine-tuned to give a refined ride that best suits the character of this convertible Bentley, the system features coil springs with computer-controlled, adaptive electro-hydraulic dampers and automatic ride-height control with auto-load compensation.
The Azure T’s suspension delivers impressive body control in all driving conditions, while the new five-spoke, two-piece 8.5J x 20-inch Sports alloy wheels with 255/40 ZR20 Pirelli P Zero tyres further improve handling and road holding.
As an option, Azure T owners may specify an upgraded braking system with carbon/silicon carbide, cross-drilled brake ventilated discs. Measuring 420 x 40 mm (front) and 356 x 28 mm (rear), these discs are the largest fitted to any production car on sale today. With eight-piston callipers, the brakes provide impressive deceleration and also give an 8 kg reduction in unsprung weight, benefiting steering response, ride suppleness and acceleration.
This lightweight braking system ensures virtually fade-free use, time after time, and superb resistance to disc distortion under high thermal conditions. Under normal use, the brake discs will last the lifetime of the car and pad life is doubled compare to the standard system.
Befitting its role as a new Bentley flagship convertible, the Azure T embodies a range of standard features that were previously unavailable or only available as cost options on the Azure. The seats and door panels have Diamond Quilting, the fascia features an ‘engine-turned’ aluminium finish (reminiscent of 1920s racing Bentleys), and the instrument faces are finished in Black rather than Parchment.
Bentley emblems are embroidered on the front seat backs and the rear seat centre, an iPod/USB interface is provided, while the full range of Bentley’s premium veneers is available, a knurled finish is applied to several handles and switches and a knurled, chrome gear knob is fitted.
The new Azure T will have a strong appeal to Bentley customers, as Trevor Gay, Personal Commissioning Manager at Mulliner (Bentley’s specialist commissioning department), explains:
“The Azure has always stood apart from the rest of the Bentley range and the higher-performance Azure T will allow customers the opportunity to use the Mulliner service to create a bespoke convertible to their exact specification.”