In 1997, the Bentley Turbo RT replaced the Turbo R, becoming the last model of a Bentley luxury-sport-turbo lineage stretching back to 1980. Only 50 were produced in two years. It employs the trusty pushrod 6.75L V8, featuring all-alloy construction, a 5-bearing forged-steel crankshaft, Zytec fuel injection and a Garrett AirResearch turbocharger to produce a healthy 400-hp, routed through the 4-speed GM transmission. Aesthetically, the RT sports a mesh instead of vaned grille, special alloy wheels (as pictured) and body coloured bumpers. Inside, front and rear passengers are well looked-after, with memory front seats, adjustable rear seats, a 10-speaker stereo, rear lighter and ashtray, beautifully worked wood panelling, plus any bespoke bits anyone cared to ask Bentley to include.
Down the road, the Turbo RT glides as well as its near 3-tones suggest, the big V8 barely audible at 120 mph, straight line stability unflappable. This is the ‘sport’ Rolls-Royce, which means owners can certainly enjoy driving themselves, but there’s not much ‘sport’ in the traditional sense. The steering is charmingly light, but lacks much real feel, and the brakes are likewise over-boosted, which does not help whilst driving with brio.
Although the RT, at the end of
its development lifetime, is quite reliable, it is also certainly not for the
faint of wallet. Premium-grade petrol drains out of the fuel tank hardly slower
than you can pour it in, and the Turbo returns mileage in the low teens or
worse when driven in anger, and circa 13 mpg over the combined cycle. Parts and
labour also are pricey, as the service should really only be trusted to an
authorised Rolls Royce / Bentley outfit. Finally, depreciation has already done
its dirty work on these big-engined touring machines, and prices now having
stabilized make them a sound investment for those not quite on an Arnage
budget. For true Bentley motoring this is about as good as it gets, and I look
forward to the day when one graces my garage! - by Traian Popescu
|Base Price, GBP||148,990
||Engine Type||OHV 16-valve turbo V8|
|Powertrain Layout||Front engine, RWD||Displacement, cc||6750|
|Curb Weight, lb||5400 est.
||0-62 mph, sec||6.0
|1/4 mile, sec@mph||-||600 ft slalom, mph||-
|60-0 mph, ft||-||Top speed, mph||155|