2002 Bentley Azure Convertible Quick Look
No doubt that all cars have gotten pretty darned good recently, but until you’ve driven something like this 2002 Bentley Azure drophead coupe, I can guarantee that there’s an entirely different layer of amazing that you have yet to experience. There are no other vehicles, then or now, that drive like a big Bentley. I might compare it to a living room that can run 13-second quarter mile times, but it’s likely that most viewers haven’t been in a living room this nice. No other vehicle in the motoring kingdom drives with the dissonant power and grace of this lovely Azure convertible. None. This Sunrise Red Azure shows just 19,263 immaculately maintained miles from new, and is as gorgeous and silky smooth as the day it arrived on the ship from England. The paint you get with your one-third-of-a-million-dollars has probably been hand rubbed by a whole team of guys named Jeeves or Kensington who wear white gloves whenever they touch it, or perhaps even by magical elves, because it’s spectacularly even. In the nine years since this luxury yacht landed on our shores, it has been beautifully maintained, and everything that was spectacular about it in 2002 remains, and there are almost no signs that it has been driven. This is also a car that weighs somewhat north of 5500 pounds, yet can hurl itself to 60 MPH in less than six seconds. Do the math—oh, never mind, if you can afford this car, you can afford to have someone do the match for you. It adds up to 400 horsepower and a towering 615 pounds of torque. It makes the substantial curb weight of the car vanish, and it rockets forward with such creamy smoothness that you might think there’s an electric motor working under the hood. Ever been on a Japanese bullet train? It feels kind of like that. Only faster. The engine bay is spotless, and since Bentley clearly does not want the layman doing his own oil changes on these cars, you can rest assured that it has been properly serviced by only qualified factory technicians. The transmission is a 4-speed automatic, because, let’s face it, with that much torque, you really don’t need gears. Out back there’s a fully independent suspension and a pumpkin with remarkably serene 2.69 gears. The suspension is tuned for a little more road feel and performance feedback, thanks to a lever arm front suspension and a sophisticated trailing arm rear suspension. Brakes are massive discs with ABS at all four corners, and like the engine, their performance will astound you with its vast envelope. It rolls on a set of flashy chrome-plated 17-inch Azure alloys wearing fat radial tires. The legends of fabulous interior workmanship and materials are true—there’s not a single man-made fiber anywhere in this interior. Instead, it’s all natural, including leather that is specially selected to match not only in color but texture, Wilton lamb’s wool carpets, ¾-inch thick walnut paneling, and brilliantly polished chrome knobs and vents. The tan leather seats are exquisitely stitched with contrasting red piping, and are more comfortable than, well, any piece of furniture in your home. The seats show wear appropriate to the mileage, and the contrasting red carpets are nicely preserved. The top has six layers of fabric and insulation between you and the outside world, resulting in a convertible that’s quieter than most closed cars. And don’t forget the trunk, which is as carefully stitched as a custom suit, while also carrying a full set of tools and a pair of umbrellas fitted to the underside of the lid. Stunningly fast, but so opulent that you’ll feel badly about wearing shoes while you drive, there is no other motorcar on earth that feels like a turbo Bentley. With exceptionally low mileage and first-rate maintenance, this Azure Touring convertible represents an opportunity to enjoy the experience for half price. These are wonderful cars to drive, reliable, fast, and everything works as it should.
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