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2009 Bentley Azure T to debut at LA Auto Show

We never thought the Bentley Azure lacked anything. Apparently someone did as Bentley has just created an even more outrageous version of its $300,000 convertible: the 2009 Bentley Azure T.

The Azure T uses the same ZF six-speed automatic transmission and 6.75-liter V-8 as in the normal Azure, but tuned for more performance. The engine is tuned to produce 500 hp and a whopping 738 lb-ft of torque. The upgrades seem to work, as the Azure T beats the normal Azure to 60 by 0.4 second (5.2 vs. 5.6) and has a top speed of 179 mph (up from 171 mph).

In order to stop this two-and-a-half ton monster, Bentley uses brakes the size of a dinner plate. The front rotors measure 16.5 inches in diameter (the backs are a "mere" 14 inches in diameter) and are the largest brakes available on any production car. There are also optional carbon/silicon brakes with eight-piston calipers. For comparison, the Corvette ZR1 uses 15.5 inch front carbon ceramic discs (same as the Ferrari FXX front discs) and 15 inch rear carbon ceramic discs (same as the Ferrari Enzo front discs).

The transmission and suspension also receive tuning upgrades. The transmission can be set to drive, sport, or manual. While the suspension is the same double wishbone setup (front and rear) as the normal Azure, it has been tuned for a sportier feel and offers a sport setting that can be activated independently of the transmission sport setting.

For those wondering if people will be able to tell your Azure T apart from your neighbor's Azure, there are design differences inside and out. The Azure T comes with a dark tint grill and 'Le Mans' front wing vents. Perhaps the coolest details that differ in the Azure T are the milled aluminum 'Jewel' gas cap and the engine-turned black aluminum gauge cluster instead of the normal parchment colored gauge cluster.