In honor of the 70th anniversary of the JAS 949, Bentley has introduced a one-off Continental GT Azure inspired by the legendary R-Type Continental JAS 949. The new JAS 949 is one of only 208 examples of the R Type Continental ever built.
The R-Type Continental was the world’s fastest four-seater luxury sedan when it was launched in 1952. In addition, the powertrain from the front wheel, rear axle and roofline of the car were inspired by the first generation Continental GT from 2003 and every Continental GT since.
The JAS 949 is Bentley’s own R-Type Continental. Acquired by Bentley in 2001, the model has retained its excellent mechanical order, which includes a manual gearbox and the original 4.6 liter engine, whilst benevolently preserving its patina. The JAS 949 was ordered in ivory with a red interior and delivered to its first owner in December 1953.
The Continental GT V8 Azure has been hand painted in Old English White to replicate the most exacting specification for the modern interpretation of JAS 949. It is black and polished like the original.
The interior features Cricket Ball leather, conveying a deep and rich heritage to the driver and passengers, and hand-applied piping in Beluga leather. The new Continental GT Azure’s cross-banding uses straight grain Australian veneer with a boxwood inlay finished with a rich gold Bentley Mulliner overlay, while finishing touches to the R-Type Continental’s silhouette are added to the dashboard veneer and interior was stepping plates to complete the cabin.
The R-Type Continental JAS 949 is powered by a 4566cc in-line 6 engine that delivers an output of 153 hp at 4000 rpm and achieves 0 to 100 km/h acceleration in 13.6 seconds. The Continental GT Azure, on the other hand, is powered by a 3996 cc V8 TSI engine with two twin-scroll turbochargers. The engine produces an output of 542 hp at 6000 rpm and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h is achieved in 4.0 seconds.
To further reduce weight, the engineering team fabricated aluminum body, window frames, windshield surround, taillight, seat frame and bumper, and specified medium-distance Dunlop tires.
For the interior, all Bentley Azures have the Front Seat Comfort Specification as standard. These include a massage function with six programmable settings to combat fatigue, adjustable side bolsters, electric belt adjustment and comfort headrests. Another key element of the Continental GT Azure is Bentley Dynamic Ride, Bentley’s 48-volt active anti-roll control system that improves ride comfort and eliminates roll for smoother, more relaxed rides.
The Continental GT Azure also features the Touring specification, which includes Driver Assistance Systems, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Traffic Assist and Bentley Safeguard as standard. The driver’s relaxed driving experience is further enhanced by the head-up display and Night Vision, which uses infrared cameras to detect pedestrians, cyclists and animals 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 the JAS 949.
Bentley Continental GT Azure