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M.Bennet: Bentley Continental, Corniche & Azur


Bentley Continental R / Continental S/
Continental R Mulliner
(Continental R 1991-2002, Continental S 1994-1995, 
Continental R Mulliner 1999-2003)

Bentley Continental R
Bentley Continental R, 1992, #NCH42015, Mulliner Park Ward Coupé. The large glass areas led to massive frames surrounding the sidelights; the doors are cut into the roof.

At the 1984 Geneva Motor Show "Project 90" had been exhibited by Rolls-Royce and this was a really impressive full size mock-up of a future Bentley Coupé. Thus the manufacturer had gone to previously unheard of expenses in market research. Reactions had been so enthusiastic that within five years the company had developed a completely new Coupé and this was unveiled to the public as the Bentley Continental R at the Geneva Motor Show in March, 1991. Based on the Bentley Turbo R floorpan an aerodynamically shaped 2 + 2 coupé body had been styled. There is a taboo in the aeronautical industry against introducing new aircraft with new engines, and this was followed by Rolls-Royce in the case of the new Continental R. The well-proven turbocharged engine from the Bentley Turbo R had been chosen to power what one reporter termed as a sort of "Crewe's Missile". The Bentley Continental S was built as a variant in a limited series only. That model sported an engine with turbocharger and intercooler, and then the intercooler became standard on the Bentley Continental R.

Bentley Continental R, 1991, #NCX42003
Bentley Continental R, 1991, #NCX42003. The three spoke steering wheel was to be found only on "pre-production models" - series standard became a four spoke steering wheel with airbag.

The designation Continental R could be traced back to the Bentley Continental of the post-war period, whose legendary fame had resulted from the combination of a most impressive powertrain and highly attractive coachwork design and features of which had been specified by customers. Such an opportunity – though altered to present time demands – was offered again, when in March 1999 the ‚Mulliner‘ Continental model range was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show. A Bentley driver could specify his personal motor car in direct contact with engineers and designers at the Crewe factory. The Bentley Continental R Mulliner was equipped with the most powerful engine as hitherto only found on the Bentley Continental T. A power output of 420bhp/313kW and a maximum torque of 875Nm was more than any other manufacturer in the world did offer. The car could be pushed up to a top speed of some 170mph.

Bentley Continental R, 1994
Bentley Continental R, 1994. Some aficionados separate Continental R from different periods by alterations of the light alloy wheels' design.

Technical Data:
8 cylinder 90 degree V-configuration; aluminium-silicon alloy cylinder block with cast iron wet cylinder liners; bore x stroke 104.14 x 99.06 mm (4.1 x 3.9 in), capacity 6,750 cc; aluminium alloy cylinder heads, Bosch K Motronic fuel injection and digital ignition (from 1995 Zytek EMS3 engine management system), exhaust driven Garrett AirResearch turbocharger (Bentley Continental S: turbocharger with intercooler); 385bhp/286.1kW at 4,000rpm, max. torque 750Nm at 2,000rpm (from 1999 Bentley Continental R Mulliner 420bhp/313kW at 4,000rpm, max. torque 875Nm at 2,200rpm); 3-speed automatic (from 1992 4-speed automatic); independent suspension front and rear with automatic ride control (from 1996 ETAS electronic traction assistance system); ventilated disc brakes front, plain discs rear; wheelbase 3,061 mm; tyre size 255/60ZR16 (from 1994 tyre size 255/55WR17, from 1996 on special request 285/45R18); max. speed 235 km/h (from 1995 max speed 250 km/h; from 1999 Bentley Continental R Mulliner max. speed 170mph/270km/h).

Bentley Continental R
Bentley Continental R, 1992, #NCH42015, Mulliner Park Ward Coupé. The bootlid's lock is accessible after lifting the 'Winged B' emblem.

No. made:

1290  Bentley Continental R (1991-2002) incl. 10 millenium editions
37   Bentley Continental S (1994 - 1995)


 Bentley Continental R Le Mans Series (2001)


 Bentley Continental R Mulliner (1999 - 2002)
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