The Bentley Arnage was launched on 7th January 2002, a year earlier than the new Rolls-Royce Phantom. When Bentley Motors decided to create the 450 bhp and 168 mph Arnage T it was with much more than the broadening of an already successful range in mind. With this car, Bentley is seeking not only to push back yet further the boundaries of saloon car performance but also to make a far more defining statement about the company and about its distinctive brand values. The new Arnage T points to a future where performance is a defining characteristic of the marque (or brand) every bit as much as the luxury and refinement that have been the hallmarks of all Crewe built Bentleys. And while these latter qualities will by no means take a back seat to the pursuit of performance, it is fair to expect Bentley’s core focus to be on the provision of ultra-high performance Grand Touring cars. The Arnage T is just a start. It is also expected that the highly rated performance and related handling of the Arnage T will attract many new customers who want the performance and exclusivity of a true supercar, but need the space offered by a sumptuously appointed four door saloon with a commensurately large boot.
The Bentley brand is about understatement with so many of the changes to the car designed to be felt rather than seen. They can be appreciated not simply every time a driver puts their foot down or turns the wheel, but also at every touch of a knurled door handle, radio button or ventilation control. The Arnage T takes up its position at the head of the Series Two Arnage range completed by the highly refined Arnage R and the long wheelbase Arnage RL, the most luxurious production car ever to have been built at Crewe, both of which will join the Arnage T later in the year. Adrian Hallmark, member of the board for marketing commented: “The Arnage T demonstrates our commitment to those Bentley enthusiasts who have demanded that the Bentleys of the 21st century reflect ever more the values bestowed on the marque by our founder, W. O. Bentley. This means more performance and greater driving pleasure without compromising either the style or luxury for which we are renowned”.
In response to customer demand around the world, Bentley's new owners, the VW Group under the then CEO, Ferdinand Piech, decided against an all-new engine. Bentley states: "As part of the Bentley Series Two Arnage family, the Bentley Arnage T is the result of a three-year project to re-engineer the outstandingly successful Arnage saloon from bumper to bumper. In this process not a single significant area of its design has been left untouched." Arnage is a village close to the Le Mans 24hrs race track: the Bentley Arnage is named after a famous corner on the classic circuit, scene of Bentley's great successes in the 1920s and of that glorious return to racing in 2001. The new Arnage T truly deserves its historic Bentley Black Label status. There's something very special about the feeling that that huge traditional, British V8 gives a car with a by then unrivalled torque of 645 lb ft (875 Nm). The engine is so strong that British star football player David Beckham added an automatic speed limit at 200 km/h stating that “the car drives like a tank powered by rockets”.
Engine: 6.75L V8
Retail Price: starting from 160,000 pounds (260,000 euros or 260,000 dollars MRSP)
More information on: www.bentleymotors.com