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The Car that Changed Perceptions
With the rise of the baby boomers during the mid-1980s, came a higher level of luxury and performance cars. Few, mind you, incorporated both attributes with anywhere near the same level of prowess as the 1985 Bentley Turbo R.
Initially what were stylish rectangular headlamps, similar to those on the handsome Mulsanne Turbo that was phased out soon after the R took to the road, were replaced with a sporty set of four round headlights in 1989. A bold body-color Bentley grille took center stage, initiating an elegantly sculpted hood that led up to its tall, formal greenhouse. While a fairly square, three-box configuration, the sum of the parts resulted in an attractive overall design.
But it wasn't its styling that garnered all the initial attention. The Turbo R was mostly about performance, pulling up Le Mans winning roots the premium automaker hadn't returned to in a very long time. Top speed initially was 220 km/h (137 mph), not supercar territory but considering its overall mass and bricklike aerodynamics, despite the addition of a front air dam, an impressive feat. Zero to 100 km/h in less than 6 seconds was even more outstanding.
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