With the 1970’s coming to a close, Bentley found itself in a position where it had to urgently seek a solution to re-establish it’s credentials, as it had only accounted for a mere 3% of Rolls-Royce Motor cars production. To avoid extinction, the once-famous marque needed to re-establish it’s credentials and position it had acquired long ago for creating high-performance cars. In a strategy that came to succeed brilliantly, Bentley came up with the name ‘Mulsanne,’ which was chosen as a counterpart for the Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit. Launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1982, the unveiling of the Mulsanne Turbo was received as the resurgence of the ‘Blower Bentley.’
Throughout the 1980’s, Bentley relied primarily on models whose basic design was shared with Rolls-Royce products, but to invoke the appropriate public response Bentley investigated the idea of a new, high-performance car. They developed a prototype which was to be displayed to the public which was codenamed ‘Project 90′ and this was first unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 1985. However, when the real thing was unveiled six years later, the Bentley Continental R invoked a spontaneous applause from the crowd upon it’s revelation. The Continental R benefitted from computer styling assistance and wind tunnel testing to devise a sleek, streamliner-like shape. Among other non-traditional features that were added to the Continental R Coupe such as the doors being recessed into the roof, the result remained as much a Bentley, although much restated for the 1990s. The Continental R was given a new gearbox, a four-speed automatic that included an ‘overdrive’ top ratio, and a revelational performance. The John Heffernan/Ken Greenley penned Continental R had an outstanding combination given by the 385bhp Turbo R engine that cut the 0-60mph time to 6.1 seconds and still gave a top speed of an impressive 151mph.
Our sensational time warp example Continental R Coupe is finished in beautiful Peacock Blue with Magnolia Hide interior piped in blue and has covered just 1,800 miles from new. It has been owned by the same family since new and is still in beautiful order throughout.