Bentley Azure T (2008) unveiled at LA Auto Show

Published: 12 November 2008

This is the new Bentley Azure T, a 500bhp and 1000Nm (738lb ft) drop-top that will be unveiled at the LA Auto Show next week.

What’s going on at Crewe? Has Bentley not heard of the credit crunch?

Don’t worry, it has – the company has even laid-off workers while at least one Bentley dealership is reported to have gone bust. But to keep customers coming through the doors there are a few new Bentleys on the way. First up is this Azure T, and we’ll also see the Continental GTC Speed in the coming months.

So why should I go for an Azure T over the regular Azure?

For a start there’s that hand-made engine, with useful 11% bhp and 14% torque hikes over the ‘standard’ Azure. With 500bhp and 738lb ft that’s enough to belt this big (2695kg) Bentley to 60mph in 5.2 seconds and on to 179mph. Pity the Azure T also comes with a few other anti-eco headline figures: 465g/km CO2 and 14.5mpg.

The Azure T also gains huge 20-inch five-spoke wheels, ‘Le Mans’ front wing vents, a dark-tinted front grille, a billet aluminium fuel filler cap and a retractable Flying ‘B’ mascot. Inside you’ll find diamond quilted leather seats and door panels, drilled pedals, a turned-aluminium fascia and a big chrome gear knob.

Anything else I should know?

To deal with the extra power the sills and A-pillars have been beefed up, while there’s carbonfibre crossbracing front and rear. But the hydraulic roof is as before, folding away in a mere 25 seconds into its own cubbyhole. Prices have yet to be announced but expect to pay around £250k.

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy