Bentley wasn’t messing around anymore with the introduction of the 1985 Turbo R model. How do we know that? Well, “R,” in this case, stands for “roadholding.” That’s not a name you bandy about unless you are serious about performance. At least, that’s the message Bentley was trying to send. The Turbo R, successor to the Mulsanne, lasted for an impressive 12 model years and in fact, this model wound up being good enough to justify that name.

A Little More Power, and Lot More Handling

You might be surprised to learn that the Turbo R borrowed heavily from its predecessor. Model years 1985 and 1986, in fact, made do with the exact same turbocharged 6.75-litre V8 out of the Mulsanne. In 1987, however, fuel injection added a little more torque to the equation. That year also saw the addition of anti-lock brakes.

“But what about that “roadholding” business,” you are probably asking about now. Well, that’s all down to the suspension tuning. The Mulsanne’s suspension was again carried over into the Turbo R, but with an incredible 50% increase in roll resistance. To accomplish this, Bentley increased the stiffness of the anti-roll bars, upped the damping, and threw in a Panhard rod for good measure. These changes transformed the soft, floaty Mulsanne into a bona fide road holder. Reviewers at the time were astonished at the transformation, with many calling the Turbo R the best Bentley in decades.

Production and Legacy

Thorough updates in 1995 brought with them a nickname: The “New Turbo R.” Some of those changes included styling updates and a new fuel injection system. A “Turbo S” model was introduced in 1995 as well, with some slightly sportier aspirations. The final form, however, was the Turbo RT, made only in 1997 and 1998, and with the most power of any Bentley Turbo model to date.

All told, over 7,000 Bentley Turbo Rs were produced, well surpassing the production totals for the first-generation Mulsanne. Just over 1200 of those were built in long-wheelbase guise, while 1366 were New Turbo Rs and 252 were Turbo RTs.


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