The Bentley Arnage is a full-size luxury car introduced and sold by Bentley Motors, a British luxury car and SUV manufacturer, from 1998 to 2009. In the early spring of 1998, Rolls-Royce debuted the Silver Seraph, a brother to the Arnage. They represented the two marques' first completely fresh designs since 1980. The Arnage used a BMW M62 V8 engine with a twin-turbo arrangement developed by Cosworth, while the Seraph relied on a BMW M73 V12. The announcement was unfortunate when Bentley revealed in September 2008 that they would stop making the model in 2009.
History of the Bentley Arnage
Bentley Arnage Red Label (1999–2002)
In 1999, Bentley launched their first Arnage model. Volkswagen and BMW fought over who may use the Rolls-Royce name, and the outcome was the Arnage RL. A decisive victory for the Bentley clientele against their rivals. At the start of the 1990s, Vickers Plc owned Rolls-Royce and Bentley. It updated its older models by searching for and selecting BMW engines. Both the Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph and the Bentley Arnage were designed in-house. In the former, a 6.75L V12 was fitted, while in the latter, the Arnage R, Bentley fitted a 4.4L V8 with the help of Cosworth Engineering's twin turbochargers. Buyers of the 4.4L model complained about a lack of torque, prompting Volkswagen to revise the Arnage. The carmaker added a Garrett T4 turbocharger to the previously used 6.75L V8 engine for the Red Label model. The final product was satisfactory to the client. The luxury sedan's engine had the most torque of any available vehicle.
Bentley Arnage T (2002–2005)
Bentley debuted the Arnage T at the 2002 North American International Auto Show in Detroit to meet the evolving needs of the luxury vehicle market. Becoming the world's strongest four-door luxury car was the primary goal of this design. That's some serious aspirational language. The Arnage T had a 6.75L Garrett T3 engine with two turbochargers and 507 horsepower. While the original design featured a four-speed automatic gearbox, by 2006, Bentley had installed a ZF six-speed automatic transmission to maximize power and performance. The manufacturer built extra support into the chassis. Bentley entrusted Bosch with handling the entirety of the electrical system. This culminated in a spectacular showing on the road.
Bentley Arnage R (2005–2009)
The development of the Arnage by Bentley was not completed. The manufacturer released the Arnage R in 2005 to further the brand's reputation as a producer of premium luxury performance automobiles. This statement set Bentley apart from Rolls Royce, which had a stronghold on the ultra-luxury segment of the market. When it came to luxury sports cars, Bentley was unrivaled. If compared to BMW at all, Bentley is the superior brand. Both the chassis and suspension of this vehicle were newly designed. However, the most recent revision of the 6.75L twin-turbo engine complied with European COX emissions requirements. Therefore, the business did not change the engine from the 2002 model year. There was also a notable rise in terms of ergonomics. As competition heated up between BMW and Volkswagen to control the Rolls-Royce name, BMW threatened to discontinue supplying engines to Rolls-Royce. However, Volkswagen eventually removed the 4.4L powerplant and replaced it with a V8 from an older model of the Arnage. For a while, though, the Bentley Arnage R was equipped with a BMW engine.
Bentley Arnage Blue Train Series (2005–2009)
Before Volkswagen acquired Bentley in the United Kingdom, the Arnage was the most recent model created by the British automaker. The new owner of Bentley's flagship model improved its performance after a dispute with BMW over the vehicles' engines. In honor of a wager's 75th anniversary, Bentley created the Arnage Blue Train. Three-time winner of France's prestigious LeMans race Woolf Barnato bet GBP 200 in 1930 that he could travel the distance between Calais and London in his Bentley Sportsman Coupe fastback in less time than it would take someone taking the train. Barnato won the race after he placed a wager on him. Seventy-five years later, a remarkable run of 30 units of the Arnage Blue train was released.
In 2009, Bentley retailed the Bentley Arnage in different trim levels and prices. The R Sedan (base) model was retailed with a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $224,990, around $310,711 in 2022.
Features of the Bentley Arnage
Externally, the Arnage appeared more up-to-date than its forerunner. The fuel efficiency and aerodynamics of the new model were both enhanced. This is the first Bentley to feature two headlights protected by a clear lens. In honor of its racing heritage, the Arnage R was equipped with a mesh grille. The silhouette was reminiscent of that of the Seraph in the way that the waistline was swept back.
The Arnage R's interior was a haven of luxury, outfitted with soft leather, rich wood, and shiny aluminum. The gauges were encircled by silver rings on a flat panel, as is customary. The club had the feel of an old-fashioned British gentlemen's club. Two people could ride comfortably in the back, but those in the front would have to squirm a bit due to the heavy seats.
Bentley Motors released and sold the Bentley Arnage from 1998 to 2009 in different designations: Bentley Arnage Red Label, Bentley Arnage T, Bentley Arnage R, Bentley Arnage Blue Train Series. Bentley declared in September 2008 that they would stop making the Arnage in 2009, following a limited production run of 150 "Final Series" vehicles. The Bentley Mulsanne, a follow-up model, made its debut at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in Monterey, California, in August 2009.