5,336 Actual Mile Azure Tourer 412 Turbocharged V8
- "Six and three quarter" V8 which produces 385 horsepower and 553 lb./ft. of torque
- GM 4L80E 4-speed automatic transmission
- Factory power steering
- Power four wheel disc brakes which are equipped with factory ABS
- Green exterior paint
- Luxurious leather and wood-trimmed interior
- Remote controlled Sony CD player
In this age of hypercompetitive automakers and saturated auto markets, there's no doubt most new cars are good enough to exceed even your toughest critiques and expectations. But, until you've driven something like this stunning 1997 Bentley Azure Tourer, I can guarantee there's an entirely different layer of amazing that you have yet to experience. Simply put: there's no other vehicle on the planet like a modern Bentley. Period. You can have a lot of fun in an Aston Martin, and you can buy a top of the line Mercedes and pretend you have exclusivity, but nothing matches the combination of prestige, luxury and sheer power offered by Europe's most traditional automaker. So, if you're ready to experience world class, low-mileage luxury that rivals the Waldorf in comfort and equals Park Avenue in style, it's time to step up to the realm of Bentley!
With just 5,336 immaculately maintained miles on its bright digital odometer, this smooth green Azure Tourer remains a stately and very distinctive piece that certainly looks the part of its coveted GT class. Naturally, the car's Pininfarina designed body was hand assembled at Bentley's legendary Crewe, England manufacturing facility where a white glove inspection ensured spectacularly even paint and panel fitment. And today, logging only 355 miles each year since new, it's every bit as fresh and polished as the minute its tires rolled onto American roads. That's right; it's been fifteen years since this lavish luxury yacht landed on our shores. And everything that was spectacular about the car's 1997 debut remains true today thanks to impeccable maintenance, top notch repair and first class upkeep.
Bentley is the sporting side of Rolls-Royce. Well, not anymore, but when the Azure was designed, the Continental R was used as its basis. That means there's a lot less chrome on the car than you'd expect. Up front, a prominent finned grille centers an ornate 'flying B' emblem between large headlights, equally large fog lights, broad parking lamps and a body-matched and chrome-trimmed bumper. At the sides of the car, straight body lines are only interrupted by equally straight rocker spears, traditional chrome door handles, mandatory European marker lamps, and specially coated rocker panels. At the top of the car, stainless-trimmed glass leads a green convertible top which folds into a stainless-trimmed, tan leather cowl. And at the back of the car, a second ornate 'flying B' emblem hangs over sculpted, tri-color tail lights, a second body-matched and chrome-trimmed bumper, and two bright stainless exhaust pipes.
There's no question this is an impressive looking car, but that's only half the equation. Stuffed with heavy, hand crafted materials and all the luxury amenities anyone could ever imagine, the Azure weighs in at just over 5,500 pounds. In an ordinary luxury car, that would create an acceleration nightmare, but not for this Bentley. Its stalwart 6.75 liter V8 creates 385 horsepower and a massive 553 lb./ft. of torque on its way to an impressive 6.3 second 0-60 sprint and an Autobahn dominating 150 MPH top speed! The bottom line: this heavily refined pushrod V8, which Bentley called the “six and three quarter” engine”, sports a Garrett turbocharger and a high quality Zytek engine management system which matches the car's old world comfort with lethal performance. The big engine literally makes the substantial curb weight of this car feel like it doesn't exist as it rockets forward with such creamy smoothness you'll think there's an electric motor mounted under the hood. Naturally the subdued powerplant fires up easily, idles as softly as a whisper, and is as happy cruising along at gated neighborhood speeds as it is performing John Force style straightaway runs. Ever been on a Japanese bullet train? It feels kinda like that, except faster!
Shifting that massive 412 cubic inch mill is a GM-sourced 4L80E 4-speed automatic transmission that's a perfect match for open roads and mountainous torque. Behind that stalwart gearbox, there's a fully independent suspension which hangs a traditional pumpkin around remarkably serene 2.69 gears. In front of those gears, a lever arm front suspension provides great road feel and excellent feedback; after all, they don't call these cars grand tourers for nothing. Stopping all of that forward momentum is four wheel disc brake system that's fitted with standard ABS. The car rolls on a set of silver painted 17 inch alloy wheels which spin massive 255/55 Pirelli Scorpion Zero radials, or should that be “tyres”? And the floor of this road-ready Bentley is clean, solid and ready for thousands of miles of exploring, boasting and generally enjoying the sunshine.
Bentley's legends of fabulous interior workmanship and materials are absolutely true—there's not a single man-made fiber anywhere in this interior. Instead, it's all natural, including leather that is specially selected to match not only in color but texture, Wilton lamb's wool carpets, 0.75 inch thick walnut paneling, and brilliantly polished chrome knobs and vents. The car's tan leather seats are exquisitely stitched and more comfortable than, well, any piece of furniture in your home. On the dash and console, every detail is beautifully finished as someone actually took time to hand-make most of the pieces; and those that are not hand-made are carefully inspected, polished, and buffed to ensure everything is just as perfect as it can be. In front of the driver, the leather used on the steering wheel and shift knob is taken from the same hide to avoid dissimilar sensations when moving your hand between them. You'll be pleased that the convertible top mechanism, stashed behind the cockpit, is as simple to use as a light switch; just push the button and the top unlatches and stows itself beneath a matching boot. When the car's roof is up it hangs six layers of fabric and insulation between the car's occupants and the outside world, resulting in a convertible that's quieter than most closed cabin cars. And don't forget about the trunk, which is as carefully stitched as a fine custom suit.
Until you've experienced one of these ultimate luxury cars for yourself, it's almost impossible to understand how polished they really are. Stunningly fast, but so opulent you'll feel bad about wearing shoes while you drive, there is no other motorcar on earth that feels like a turbo Bentley! With exceptionally low mileage and first-rate maintenance, this awesome Azure Tourer is one of the best combinations of performance, functionality and palatial comfort ever made. If you're looking for no-compromises luxury with equally impressive performance car, you've found your next car!
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