Bentley has revealed a one-off Continental GT Azure inspired by the iconic R-Type Continental JAS 949, in honour of JAS 949’s 70th birthday. The new JAS 949 is one of only 208 examples of the R Type Continental ever built.

The R-Type Continental was the fastest four-seat luxury saloon in the world when launched in 1952. Additionally, the power line from the front wheel, the rear haunch and the roofline of the car were inspired by the first generation Continental GT in 2003 and every Continental GT since.

The JAS 949 is Bentley’s own R-Type Continental. The model was acquired by Bentley in 2001 and has maintained its excellent mechanical order which includes a manual gearbox and the original 4.6 litre engine while sympathetically preserving its patina. The JAS 949 was ordered in Ivory with a Red interior and was delivered to its first owner in December 1953.

The Continental GT V8 Azure has been hand painted in Old English White to recreate the closest specification for the modern interpretation of JAS 949. The Continental GT has been fitted with bright chrome (including the matrix grille) 22 inch hand-finished wheels, in a black and polished finish as per the original.

The interior features Cricket Ball leather that provides a deep and rich heritage feel for the driver and passengers, hand-applied piping in Beluga leather. The cross banding of the new Continental GT Azure uses Australian straight grain veneer with a boxwood inlay enhanced with a Bentley Mulliner overlay in a rich gold whereas the finishing touches of the silhouette of the R-Type Continental have been added to the fascia veneer and interior treadplates to complete the cabin.

The R-Type Continental JAS 949 is powered by a 4566 cc 6-cylinder in-line engine delivering an output power of 153 bhp at 4000 rpm and the acceleration from 0-62 mph is achieved in 13.6 seconds. On the other hand, the Continental GT Azure is powered by a 3996 cc V8 TSI engine with two twin-scroll turbochargers. The engine generates an output power of 542 bhp at 6000 rpm and the acceleration from 0-62 mph is achieved in 4.0 seconds.

To further reduce the weight, the engineering team crafted the bodywork, window frames, windscreen surround, backlight, seat frames and bumpers in aluminium and Dunlop Medium Distance Track tyres were specified.

For the interior, all Bentley Azures feature the Front Seat Comfort Specification as standard. This includes a massage function with six programmable settings to prevent fatigue, adjustable side bolsters, electric seat belt adjustment and comfort headrests. Another key element of the Continental GT Azure is Bentley Dynamic Ride, Bentley’s 48V active anti-roll control system that improves ride comfort and prevents roll for smoother, more relaxing journeys.

The Continental GT Azure also features the Touring Specification which includes driver assistance systems, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Assist, Traffic Assist and Bentley Safeguard as standard. The driver’s sense of relaxed control is further enhanced by the Head-up Display and by Night Vision, which uses infra-red cameras to identify pedestrians, cyclists and fauna outside the beam of the LED headlights.

The new Continental GT Azure now joins Bentley’s UK press fleet, where it will be available for media loans along with the opportunity to drive JAS 949.

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