There was no missing this Bentley when it was at Evo Towers. For a start, you don’t park an Azure – it’s far too grand for that. Instead you simply place it outside your destination and abandon ship, leaving everyone else to squeeze in around you.
Lord knows how many cows and trees have to be sacrificed in order for each Azure to exist, but the result is a car that’s simply like no other. The revised cabin of the ‘T’ gets a number of subtle revisions, plus the new option of a ‘Naim for Bentley’ ten-speaker audio system, while outside you’ll now find 20in ‘Bright Finish’ alloy wheels, dark-tint grilles and twin exhaust pipes. Most importantly, below decks the twin-turbo 6.75-litre V8 gets a tweak that results in full-fat outputs of 500bhp and 738lb ft.
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This is power on an epic scale. The 2.6-ton Azure T takes on a deranged personality when you gun it, with 100mph being passed in just 12.1sec and the laws of physics not taking hold until 179mph. The new six-speed ZF gearbox is a huge improvement on the old five-speed unit too, locking on to gears more quickly and offering smoother, faster changes.
So it’s a shame that it’s so difficult to get to grips with the actual act of driving the Azure, the amount of lag between issuing a command and the car carrying it out giving you the impression that you are controlling it remotely. Driving in stop-go traffic isn’t as easy as it should be, nor is pressing on, as there’s always a pause between you squeezing the accelerator and the power arriving at the wheels.
All of which means that the Azure remains an astonishing car, but not one that’s particularly rewarding to drive. Shame.
|Engine||V8, 6761cc, twin-turbo|
|Max power||500bhp @ 4200rpm|
|Max torque||738lb ft @ 3200rpm|
|Top speed||179mph (claimed)|