2020 Shannons Spring Timed Online Auction
1990 Bentley Turbo R Saloon
This lot is no longer available
With the introduction of the Silver Spirit in 1980, Rolls-Royce continued to offer a Bentley variant and the new Mulsanne – named after the longest straight at Le Mans, scene of no less than five victories for the Bentley marque – was distinguished by its unique radiator shell, badging and wheel trims. The Mulsanne enjoyed ample performance from the venerable 6.75-litre V8 (power, as always, being undisclosed and merely described as ‘adequate’) and the ride was superb thanks to independent suspension with coil springs front and rear, along with the Girling hydraulic self-levelling system. To further distance the Bentley marque from Rolls-Royce, a turbocharged version of the Mulsanne was announced at the 1982 Geneva Motor Show, coupling startling performance with bespoke luxury. A Garrett AirResearch turbocharger boosted power output by as much as 50 per cent, providing fantastic acceleration for such a big car. Inside, the Mulsanne boasted sumptuous leather upholstery, deep pile carpets and a traditional polished walnut-veneer fascia with full instrumentation. In an effort to distinguish the Turbo from the regular Mulsanne, Bentley added light alloy wheels, Turbo badging and the radiator shell was painted in the body colour. Bentley introduced the Turbo R (which stood for roadholding) in 1985, featuring wider Pirelli 275/55 P7 rubber on new alloy wheels. The latest Bosch MK-Motronic fuel injection was added in 1987, along with anti-lock brakes and re-designed seats, while the appearance was updated in mid-1988 with twin round headlamps improving the frontal appearance. The Turbo R sold in comparatively small numbers – just 4,115 were built between 1985 and 1994 – but was the first step in a major revival of the marques fortunes and represents unparalleled value for money today.