Supercars On A $50,000 Budget: A Turbo Bentley With Tons Of Attitude


This coupe was the most expensive production car in the world when it launched.

Having previously featured the modern W12-powered Continental GT and old school 6.75-liter Arnage, today's affordable supercar is something a little bit more special. Bentley revealed the Continental R back in 1991, and at $271,780 (in the US) it became the most expensive production car on sale. The Continental R was also the fastest, and most powerful model that Bentley had ever made at the time. The car was also the first Bentley not to be based on a Rolls-Royce since the S3 in 1965, which made it very unique.

Power came from a 6.75-liter V8 with a Garrett turbocharger lifted from the Bentley Turbo R sedan. In the early cars from 1991 to 1993, this engine produced 325 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque. However, these numbers are simply an estimate because at the time, Rolls-Royce and Bentley didn't supply official figures. These numbers were simply described as "sufficient" or "adequate." Power went out to a new GM 4L80-E automatic transmission which propelled the car to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 145 mph. These were pretty amazing numbers for the 1990s. The Continental R was also highly advanced for the time.

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The car had a self-leveling hydraulic suspension with active ride control, as well as MK-Motronic digital fuel injection with a fully mapped ignition control system ands ventilated front disc brakes. It may sound commonplace today, but the Continental R also came with a sport button that adjusted the transmission mapping and stiffened the suspension for more aggressive driving. This was almost unheard of at the time. Even though this car weighed over 5,000 pounds, road testers noted how well it handled in sport mode with the sophisticated suspension. This car was a perfect blend of old school and modern technology.

We found a 1993 Continental R for sale at Heritage Classics in Beverly Hills. The car is painted in Racing Green with a tan interior with green piping. The color is about as British as its gets, and we absolutely love the combination. Anyone who wants this car will really have to love green, because the motif is continued on the interior with green leather trim and green carpets. The color scheme really works, and would be the ideal car for Tommy Oliver, aka the green Power Ranger, especially with the turbocharger and supercar power! The price comes in at $49,500, which is certainly not the cheapest used Bentley on the market. However, this Continental R only has 13,667 miles on it.

Because this car has only been driven around 540 miles per year on average, it is basically like new. We struggled to see any imperfections and the car comes with all of its original books and tools. There is even a matching green umbrella in the trunk, although the car doesn't have a built-in compartment in the door like a new Rolls-Royce. This Continental R is truly an impressive car, incredibly luxurious, and an amazing long distance tourer. A new Continental GT would cost nearly four times as much, and we think the old Continental R comes with much more character for the money.

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