Bentley designed the Turbo R as a high-performance, limited edition vehicle. The company sold it from 1985 to 1997, but only a limited number were released each year. The first Bentley Turbo R was meant to improve on the performance of Bentley's Mulsanne Turbo. The design team, under direction of Chief Engineer Mike Dunn, focused on creating a car with significant power and a soft ride that offered excellent handling on the road.
Originally, the design team was supposed to increase roll stiffness by 10 percent, which would improve handling significantly. When a new designer took control of the team, though, the goal was set at a 50 percent increase in roll stiffness. Engineers met this goal by increasing the damping and upping the anti-roll bar rates by 60 percent in the back and 100 percent in the front. These adjustments turned the Mulsanne Turbo into an excellent machine that beat all expectations. In fact, Motor Trend magazine called the Bentley Turbo R the first Bentley in decades that deserved the brand name.
More on the Bentley Turbo R
Bentley Turbo R Origins
Given that this extremely comfortable, easy-to-handle car had a top speed of 137 mph and could go from zero to 60 in 6.7 seconds, it is no wonder that reviewers were excited. The Bentley Turbo R also had a Girling hydraulic self-leveling system that helped keep the ride as smooth as possible. It was truly a noteworthy engineering achievement, especially for a car that could weigh more than two and a half tons.
Bentley introduced a remodeled Turbo R in 1995 and came with aesthetic and performance modifications. The Turbo R was eventually replaced in 1998 by the Turbo RT, which was a sportier, updated version of the vehicle.About the Bentley Turbo R
The Bentley Turbo R is best known for remaking the expectations of consumers buying Bentley vehicles. Although previous cars like the Mulsanne performed well compared to several cars, some experts felt that it failed to meet the illustrious past of Bentley's performance vehicles. The Turbo R turned that around, leading Bentley into a new era of improved performance, as Bentleys were always considered the driver's car variants between them and the mechanically similar Rolls-Royce Silver Spur.
The Turbo R is also famous for its endorsement from comedian and talk show host Jay Leno. Leno, an avid car collector, currently owns a 1989 model.Bentley Turbo R Features
The last Bentley Turbo R was the 1997 model. It was essentially the same version released by Bentley in 1995 with a few minor improvements. The 1997 Bentley Turbo R belonged to the "new" group of Turbo Rs manufactured by Bentley. The updated version featured a redesigned front that kept the car current with aesthetic trends. It also included an improved fuel injection system. The vehicle had a 6.75-liter V-8 engine that produced 385 HP. Although it only got 11/16 mpg city/highway, this was not exceptionally low for the time since gas prices were low and many consumers cared more about safety and size than fuel efficiency. The 1997 Bentley Turbo R sold new for about $200,000.Bentley Turbo R Evolution
Bentley made changes to the Turbo R throughout its production. The 1987 Bentley Turbo R, for instance, was updated with anti-lock brakes. Bentley also replaced the car's Solex carburetors with a Bosch MK-Motronic fuel-injection system. The car was also given a cosmetic makeover that made it more appealing to consumers of the mid-1980s who wanted to purchase an expensive, high-performance vehicle. Designers added a higher rear axle ratio that improved acceleration and included slimmer sports seats for holding the driver and passenger in place.
Bentley made changes to the 1989 Turbo R in the middle of the production year by adding twin round headlamps and adding a bigger spoiler to the vehicle's front.
The car manufacturer also made mid-year changes to the 1992 model by replacing the three-speed automatic transmission with a four-speed 4L80-E transmission made by General Motors. This gave the driver a little more control over the vehicle. The company also chose to update the transmission included in its other vehicles that year.
In 1995, Bentley introduced what many now call the New Turbo R. Designers had made significant changes to the vehicle's front, making sleeker and more modern-looking. The New Turbo R also included a Zytek fuel-injection system.
Bentley also released a limited edition Turbo R Sport in Germany. This model was just like the standard New Turbo R, except that it had the Continental T's alloys and carbon-fiber components instead of the walnut panels that adorned the standard model sold elsewhere around the world.
In 1996, Bentley stopped manufacturing the short wheelbase Turbo R to focus on the Turbo RL limousine. Bentley stopped manufacturing the Turbo R in 1998, when the vehicle was replaced by an all-new model called the Bentley Arnage.