Bentley’s first Azure, a flagship convertible based on the drivetrain and platform of the Continental R, remained in production from 1995 to 2003. The combination of effortless 6.75-litre V8 power and a hand-built luxury convertible was clearly popular with Bentley customers, and thus Bentley showed a concept at the 2005 Los Angeles Auto Show for an ‘Arnage convertible’. By the time of the Frankfurt Show in Autumn 2005 this concept had become a production reality as the second-generation Azure.

Arnage Platform

The new Azure was based on the platform of the Arnage, and to compensate for the absence of a roof its chassis featured lightweight carbon-fibre underfloor cross-bracing. While the front of the new Azure bore a close relationship to the Arnage saloon, its flowing lines and two-door body, designed in-house at Crewe, were unique to the model. The hydraulically powered three-layer fabric roof stowed neatly beneath the tonneau cover in 30 seconds. Compared with the first-generation Azure, interior space and ergonomics were improved, as were the driving dynamics.

The Azure T

The new Azure was initially offered with a 450hp, 875Nm version of Bentley’s venerable turbocharged 6.75-litre V8, giving it a top speed of 168mph (270km/h) and a 0-62mph (0100km/h) time of 5.9 seconds. But in 2008 at the Los Angeles Auto Show Bentley revealed a new flagship performance model, the Azure T. Power was raised to 500bhp and 1,000Nm of torque, increasing top speed to 179mph and reducing the 0-62mph time to 5.5 seconds.

Styling changes included 20-inch two-piece alloy wheels with 255/40 ZR20 Pirelli P Zero tyres, ‘Le Mans’ lower front wing air vents, dark-tinted upper and lower grilles, ‘jewel’ fuel filler cap (made from billet aluminium) and wing mirror mountings finished in body colour. Inside, diamond-quilted leather trim and drilled alloy pedals give the cabin an extra dash of opulence.

The Azure T in the Heritage Collection

Bentley’s own Azure T is finished in Venusian Grey with Burgundy interior trim and dark stained Burr Walnut veneer. Among its optional features are inlaid Bentley wings in the veneered waistrails. It was the last model off the production line in January 2010 and has been in company ownership since.

Date Produced Launched 2008; this model 2010
Body Convertible; 2-doors, 4-seats; weight 2,695 kg
Engine V8 6,750 cc. 2 pushrod overhead valves; hydraulic tappets; central gear-driven camshaft; aluminium block and heads; Two Garrett AiResearch T3 Turbochargers; intercooler; Bosch Motronic Engine Management
Power 500 bhp (313 kW) @ 4,000 rpm; 1,000 Nm
Transmission Rear wheel drive; six-speed ZF 6HP-32 automatic transmission; final drive 2.92:1
Chassis Steel monocoque with sub-frames; independent front suspension by coil springs and wishbones; anti-roll bar; adaptive self-levelling dampers; electronic ride and traction control
Dimensions Wheelbase 3,116 mm; track 1,608 mm; length 5,410 mm
Performance Maximum speed 179 mph (288 km/h); 0-100 km/h (62 mph) 5.5 sec



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