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Bentley unveils one-off car to celebrate R-Type Continentalís 70th. Image by Bentley.

Bentley unveils one-off car to celebrate R-Type Continentalís 70th
Bentley has revealed a one-off Continental that celebrates a very special Contiís 70th birthday.
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What's all this about?

A very special Bentley Continental is celebrating quite a big birthday. This year marks seven decades since the original R-Type Continental was launched, instantly becoming the fastest four-seat production car in the world. Now, Bentley is commemorating the anniversary with a new one-off version of the current Continental GT, taking inspiration from the R-Type that lives at Bentleyís headquarters in Crewe.

How so?

The new one-off car has been created using Mullinerís Personal Commissioning Guide, taking features of ĎJAS 949í, an R-Type that lives at the companyís factory in Cheshire. Like ĎJasí, the new car features Old English White paint and chrome bumper trim, as well as polished black wheels. However, the 22-inch rims of the modern car are somewhat larger than the 16-inch items fitted to the original.

What about the inside?

The new Azureís interior has been inspired by ĎJasí, too, with ĎCricket Ballí red leather lining the Continental GTís cabin. Thatís complemented by some Beluga piping and open-pore Burr Walnut veneer that uses just three layers of ultra-thin laquer, totalling just 0.1mm in thickness. Thatís in contrast to the usual Bentley wood, which has a 0.5mm high-gloss laquer.

And Bentley has also applied some other JAS 949-inspired touches, including some cross-banding with Australian straight-grain veneer and a rich gold overlay, both of which reference the 1953 carís interior. Whatís more, a silhouette of the R-Type Continental can be seen on the fascia veneer and the interior treadplates.

Why not?

Pretty much. While Bentley might have given this particular Continental GT some heritage aesthetics, the underpinnings are thoroughly modern. The car gets the Ďstandardí 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine seen in other Continental GTs, producing 550hp. Thatís quite the difference from the 1953 car, which squeezed just 155hp from its 4.5-litre straight-six engine.

As a result, where ĎJasí has a 0-62mph time of 13.6 seconds and a top speed of 115mph, the car that pays homage to it is considerably faster. It takes just four seconds to get from a standstill to 62mph, and flat out itíll travel at 198mph.

And it isnít just the engine thatís modern. Bentley has retained the standard carís adaptive cruise control, lane assist and Bentley Safeguard Ė a radar and camera system designed to detect other traffic and avoid collisions. A head-up display has also been included alongside a night vision system that uses infra-red cameras to identify potential obstacles that are outside the reach of the headlight beams.

However, Bentley says some of the R-Type Continentalís heritage was already alive and kicking in the existing Continental GT Azure. The comfort-orientated specification of the Azure models, with Dynamic Ride suspension that electronically adjusts the anti-roll bars to maximise passenger comfort, was designed to recreate the R-Typeís Ďmagic carpet rideí.

How much will it set me back?

Sadly, you canít buy this car Ė at least not officially. Instead, itís going to be used by Bentley for publicity. However, with Bentleyís Mulliner scheme giving customers the option of creating almost anything they want, itís probably possible to recreate it for yourself. Admittedly, that probably means spending the best part of £300,000, or possibly even more, but what a way to spend it.



Michael Turnbull - 30 Jan 2023

Earlier articles featuring 2023 Bentley Continental GT

2023-01-23: Bentley celebrates 2020 Bathurst win with pair of specially commissioned one-off Continentals


2023 Bentley Continental GT Azure R-Type 70th Anniversary. Image by Bentley.2023 Bentley Continental GT Azure R-Type 70th Anniversary. Image by Bentley.2023 Bentley Continental GT Azure R-Type 70th Anniversary. Image by Bentley.2023 Bentley Continental GT Azure R-Type 70th Anniversary. Image by Bentley.2023 Bentley Continental GT Azure R-Type 70th Anniversary. Image by Bentley.

2023 Bentley Continental GT Azure R-Type 70th Anniversary. Image by Bentley.2023 Bentley Continental GT Azure R-Type 70th Anniversary. Image by Bentley.2023 Bentley Continental GT Azure R-Type 70th Anniversary. Image by Bentley.2023 Bentley Continental GT Azure R-Type 70th Anniversary. Image by Bentley.








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