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Bentley Arnage

Bentley's flagship sedan from 1998 to 2009. The car was a produced during Rolls-Royce ownership and was a Bentley badged version of the Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph. The cars were unveiled together in 1998 and were the first all new designs for both marques since 1980.

The Arnage can be found with a couple different power plants due to the tumultuous ownership of Bentley Motors at the time. Initially, the Arnage came with a modern BMW 4.4l V8 with twin-turbos with a five speed ZF transmission. During the period where Vickers had put the companies up for sale and BMW and VW were negotiating over the purchase of RR and Bentley, BMW had threatened to quit supplying the engine. That threat caused VW to revive the old 6.75l pushrod V8 that was original developed in the 1960's.

The BMW powered unit was called the Arnage Green Label and a single turbo 6.75l V8 debuted in the Arnage Red Label in 1999 coupled with a four speed transmission.

For 2007, the Arnage (now just called Arnage with the 6.75l V8 as the only engine option) saw several upgrates including new Mitsubishi turbochargers to replace the Garrett turbo on the previous version, along with a slight bump in displacement (the engine was still marketed as a 6.75l. This version of the Arnage also ditched its GM sourced four speed automatic transmission for a six speed ZF unit.

At the Paris Auto Show in 2008, Bentley announced the end of the Arnage with the Arnage Final Series. The Arnage would be replaced in the Bentley lineup by the Mulsanne.

Special Editions

Le Mans Series (2001)

Bentley built the Le Mans Series to commemorate their return to 24 Hours of Le Mans race. The cars were a modified version of the 2001 Arnage Red Label. Details included unique tread plate plaques, Le Mans Series dash emblem, and front fender badging. The instrument gauges had a unique British Racing Green background color with “Le Mans Series” printed on them. It also had drilled pedals and the Bentley emblem was stitched into the seats and inlaid in burr walnut on the doors.

Outside, the Le Mans had several sporty enhancements. The wheel arches were widened and it was fitted with sport bumpers and ducting vents. It also received quad exhaust pipes that were only available on the Le Mans. It came in three colors: Silver Storm, Black Oriole and Le Mans Racing Green.

150 were planned, 81 were built with left hand drive. In addition to the Arnage, Bentley built several Continental R, Continental T, and Azure Le Mans Series.

Blue Train (2006)

The Bentley Arnage T Blue Train was a special edition for the 2006 model year. The name pays tribute to the 'Blue Train' Bentley Speed Six. As the story goes, Woolf Barnato made record time racing the Blue Train, Europe's fastest mode of transportation at the time. A limited number of 30 cars was planned and finally 36 copies were built. After the production of 30 LHD cars a further batch of 6 RHD cars was built.

At its launch, the first model in the series joined the original 'Blue Train' Speed Six, now owned by Bentley enthusiasts Bruce and Jolene McCaw, along with other historically significant Bentley cars in a 75th Anniversary tour from Cannes to London, following Barnato's original route. Participants enjoyed a more leisured approach to the journey than that taken by Woolf Barnato, with attractions such as wine-tasting, overnight stops and gastronomic meals at chateaux and route. 1)

HOWEVER, Bruce McCaw, present-day owner of Barnato’s Gurney Nutting Speed Six, uncovered evidence that this particular Bentley was not completed until after the date of the dare, which took place in March 1930. It seems that Barnato, who owned a stable of Bentleys, probably raced the Blue Train in his Mulliner-bodied four-door Speed Six saloon, not the coupé. Commendably the Seattle-based McCaw traced the chassis and engine of the Mulliner-bodied car, and also discovered the bodywork, albeit on a different Bentley chassis. He reunited the chassis with its original bodywork and showed the restored Mulliner Speed Six alongside his Gurney Nutting Speed Six at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August 2003.2)

In 2015, Bentley would again produce a Blue Train limited edition, this time as a Bentley Mulsanne Blue Train. The Mulsanne Blue Train limited edition was even more limited in production and only for the European market.

2006 Bentley Arnage Blue Train Features:

  • 19-inch seven-spoke alloy wheels.
  • Sunroof.
  • Chrome radiator shell.
  • Chrome mirror caps.
  • Quad-exhaust tailpipes.
  • Arnage Blue Train Series front and rear bumpers.
  • Stainless steel matrix mesh to the front bumper cooling ducts.
  • In homage to the slatted bonnet of the original 'Blue Train' Bentley Speed Six, Bentley's design team has specified vertical slatted vents, painted in body colour, behind the trailing edge of the front wheel arches.
  • Black winged 'B'.
  • Blue Train badging on the front wing and door aperture treadplates.
  • A 'privacy' rear backlight may be specified, as a feature which echoes the coachwork of Barnato's 1930s coupé.
  • The instrument and dial faces are black.
  • Wood and blue leather wrapped multi-functional steering wheel.
  • The centre console features a Bentley Blue Train badge.
  • Veneer waistrails featuring chrome inlay with winged 'B' badges.
  • 'Blue Train' embroidered headrests, in a coordinating thread colour.
  • Picnic Tables on Backs of Front Seats.
  • Additional wood veneer panels on the doors.
  • Contrast piping on the seats.

Final Edition (2008)

Limited to only 150 units worldwide, the Arnage Final Edition celebrated the end of the Arnage's run as Bentley's uberluxury sedan.

  • 6 3/4 liter twin-turbo V8 from standard Arnage. Produced 500hp and 738 lb. ft. of torque.
  • Special badging inside and out
  • Rear cocktail cabinet with Final Series stainless steel flask
  • Four umbrellas with Final Series markings
Classic Driver, November 2005
models/arnage.txt · Last modified: 2017/12/22 22:11 (external edit)

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