|Manufacturer||Bentley Motors Limited|
|Predecessor||Brooklands Turbo R|
|Class||Full-size luxury car|
|Body style||4-door saloon/sedan|
|Layout||Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive|
|Engine||4.4 L BMW V8 6.75 L Rolls-Royce V8 twin-turbo 6.8 L Rolls-Royce V8 twin-turbo|
|Transmission||5-sp ZF 5HP30 automatic 4-sp 4L80-E automatic|
|Wheelbase||122.77 in (3,118 mm).|
|Length||212.37 in (5,394 mm).|
|Width||76.06 in (1,932 mm).|
|Height||59.69 in (1,516 mm)|
|Kerb weight||5,120 lb (2,320 kg) (Green Label), 5,699 lb (2,585 kg) (2003 Arnage R)|
|Related||Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph|
The Bentley Arnage was a large luxury car produced by Bentley Motors in Crewe, England from 1998 to 2009. The Arnage, and its Rolls-Royce-branded sibling, the Silver Seraph, were introduced in the Spring of 1998, and were the first entirely new designs for the two marques since 1980.
Another break from the past was to be found under the bonnet, for decades home to the same 6.75 litre V8 engine, a powerplant which could trace its roots back to the 1950s. The new Arnage was to be powered by a BMW V8 engine, with Cosworth-engineered twin-turbo installation, and the Seraph was to employ a BMW V12 engine.
The Arnage is over 5 metres (197 in) long, 1.9 metres (75 in) wide, and has a kerb weight of more than 2.5 metric tonnes. For a brief period it was the most powerful and fastest four-door saloon on the market.
In September 2008, Bentley announced that production of the model would cease during 2009.
Following the uplift in sales for all of Rolls-Royce, and resurgence of the Bentley marque, the then-owner, Vickers, set about preparing a new model to replace the derivatives of the Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit/Bentley Mulsanne which it had been selling since 1980. In a complete switch from tradition, these new cars would have bodies built at the Crewe factory, with its internal combustion engines built elsewhere.
A number of potential engines were examined, including the GM Premium V engine, and a Mercedes-Benz V8 engine, before Vickers selected a pair of BMW powerplants. It was decided that the Rolls-Royce model, to be called the Silver Seraph, would use BMW's naturally aspirated V12 engine while the more-sporting Bentley model would use a special twin-turbo version of the 4.4 litre BMW V8, which was developed by Vickers subsidiary, Cosworth Engineering.
On its introduction in the spring of 1998, the Arnage was available as a single model with this 4,398 cubic centimetres (268.4 cu in) BMW V8 engine, with twin turbochargers, developing some 354 metric horsepower (260 kW; 349 bhp) and 420 lb·ft (569 N·m) of torque.
The basic BMW V8 Arnage was renamed the Arnage Green Label in 2000, its last model year.
Red Label and Green Label
During the takeover battle in 1998 between BMW and Volkswagen Group for ownership of Rolls Royce and Bentley Motors, BMW had threatened to stop supply of their engines if Volkswagen Group won. While the threat was later withdrawn in conjunction with BMW acquiring the right to manufacture the Rolls Royce marque at a new location, it was clear that Volkswagen could not accept the business and reputation risks associated with having their rival as a long-term business partner Volkswagen’s response was to prepare the old pushrod 6.75 litre 16 valve engine from the Turbo R for the Arnage, designed for the lighter and smaller BMW 32 valve V8 unit. Coupled with an outdated 4-speed automatic, the engine was extremely thirsty, and would not meet government-imposed emissions standards without hasty modifications.
The revised version of the car was launched as the Arnage Red Label in October 1999. At the same time, but without the fanfare, Bentley made several minor modifications to the original BMW engine cars, and designated them as the "Arnage Green Label" for the 2000 model year. As part of the modification process, both Red and Green Label cars received stiffer body shells and larger wheels and brakes. The stiffer body shell was needed because of the extra weight of the British engine. The larger brakes were needed for the same reason. Despite the larger brakes, braking performance worsened with the extra weight of the 6.75 engine. The braking performance of the '99 Green Label from 70-0 was 172 feet (52 m) while the later Arnage T's performance was 182 feet (55 m) from the same speed. The rest of the revisions included: 1. making a pop up Alpine navigation system standard 2. adding park distance control to the front and rear 3. increasing the rear seat leg room (by modifying the design of the front seat backs) 4. adding power folding exterior mirrors and 5. modifying the steering rack to reduce steering effort at low speeds. The lens covers for the headlights went from being glass (1998–99) to plastic (2000 onwards).
The public relations department at Bentley pointed to customer demand as the driving force behind the reversion to the old two valve per cylinder 6.75 litre unit for the Red Label. This explanation appears to have been acceptable to all but a few of the motoring press who welcomed the return of the old unit after criticizing the BMW motor as at best insipid and, at worst, underpowered
In reality, the outgoing BMW-powered Arnage was technically more modern, considerably more fuel efficient, and had 32 valves with double overhead camshafts, twin-turbo and Bosch engine management technology - as opposed to 16 valve, single turbo and a pushrod motor with less advanced engine management.The Red Label’s increase in motive power shaved less than a second of the zero to 60 mph (97 km/h) time. However, the BMW twin turbo unit remained noticeably more agile and responsive from a driver's perspective, due to its more responsive DOHC engine, better weight balance(maintaining a 51.1/48.9 weight distribution) and almost 600 lb (270 kg) lower curb weight. Ultimately the Green Label was more reliable and significantly less expensive to service in the long term. The key limiting factor of the BMW engine's output was the ZF 5HP30 transmission which was not rated to handle more than the 413 lb·ft (560 N·m) torque that the twin turbo engine was tuned to produce
Vickers had outsourced the production of the old 6.75 litre Rolls-Royce engine for use in the continued Continental and Azure models to Cosworth, so reverting to the old standby engine was a natural choice for the company.
The Red Label model reverted to the old V8 engine, which boasted torque of 835 newton metres (616 lbf·ft) with a single Garrett T4 turbocharger. This was the greatest amount of torque for a four-door car at the time. Also returning was the General Motors-sourced four-speed 4L80-E automatic transmission.
A long-wheelbase version of the Red Label was launched at the North American International Auto Show in 2001. The Green Label ended production in 2000. The Red Label models were replaced in 2002.
Series two – limousines
In 2001, the Arnage RL, a long-wheelbase model (250 millimetres (9.8 in) longer than the Arnage), was launched. The extra length is added to the car at its rear doors and its C-pillar. With the standard Arnage model, the rear wheel wells butt up against the rear door frames, but with the RL they are a few inches further back. The overall effect is a larger rear area inside the car. This style of saloon stretch is sometimes called "double-cut" in the United States, due to the two main points where the car is extended. (Jankel and Andy Hotton Associates, for example, are two aftermarket coachbuilders especially known for this style.) Available only as a bespoke ("Mulliner") model, each RL is customised to the desires of the buyer. The RL, however, was also the first of a new series of Arnages which would finally cure the Bentley Arnage of the reliability and performance deficiencies experienced following its forced deprivation of the modern BMW engines it was designed to use. The RL would also present a credible challenge to BMW's attempts to revive the Rolls-Royce brand with its planned new model, the Phantom.
Wheelbases ranged from 3,336 millimetres (131.3 in) (or only slightly longer than the standard Arnage) to 3,566 millimetres (140.4 in),and even 3,844 millimetres (151.3 in), the latter two including a 100 millimetres (3.9 in) increase in the height of the roof. The 151-inch (3,800 mm) wheelbase version is stretched between the front and rear doors (rather than at the C-pillar and at the rear doors), American limousine-style. The suspension was retuned for the added weight, allowing the larger car to still handle well.
Many RL models are ordered with armoured elements, reflecting the car's clientele. A full B6 package was available for $243,000 to $300,000, offering protection from assault weapons and grenades. The RL remains in production as of 2006..
UK State Limousine
The Bentley State Limousine is an official state car created by Bentley Motors Limited for Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of her Golden Jubilee in 2002. Two were built. The vehicle's twin-turbocharged, 6.75 litre V8 engine has been modified from Bentley's Arnage R version to produce 402 metric horsepower (296 kW; 397 bhp) and 835 newton metres (616 lb·ft) of torque.
- max. power: 500 PS (368 kW; 493 bhp) @ 4,200 rpm
- peak torque: 1,000 N·m (740 lb·ft) @ 3,200 rpm
- 0-60 mph: 5.2 s
- 0–100 km/h: 5.5 s
- max. speed: 290 km/h (180.2 mph)
Arnage R and Arnage RL
- max, power: 460 PS (338 kW; 454 bhp) @ 4,100 rpm
- peak torque: 875 N·m (645 lb·ft) @ 1,800 rpm
- 0-60 mph: 5.5 s
- 0–100 km/h: 5.8 s
- max. speed: 270 km/h (167.8 mph)
Bentley marked its 60 years of production at the Crewe factory with a special Diamond Series Arnage in 2006. 60 vehicles were planned, the majority for the United States, with diamond wood inlays, diamond quilted leather seats, a stainless steel front bumper, special 19 inch alloy wheels, and Union Jack badges on the front wings.
In September 2008, it was announced that Arnage production would cease in 2009, once a final run of 150 "Final Series" models has been completed.
The Arnage Final Series includes the Arnage T powertrain, including the aforementioned twin-turbo 6.75 litre V8 engine that produces 500 metric horsepower (368 kW; 493 bhp) and approximately 1,000 newton metres (738 lb·ft) of torque. The powertrain delivers torque to the rear wheels via a six-speed ZF automatic transmission.
Outside, the Final Series features unique 20 inch alloy wheels, a retractable 'Flying B' mascot, body-colored headlamp bezels, dark tint matrix upper and lower grilles, lower front wing vents, a 'Jewel-style' fuel filler cap and special badging.
The interior, designed by Mulliner, features Final Series kick plates, drilled alloy pedals, unique chrome trim, a rear cocktail cabinetand two picnic tables. The model also comes with four special umbrellas and a premium 1,000 watt audio system by Naim Audio.
The model is offered with 42 exterior colour schemes, 25 interior hides and three wood veneers. It can also be specified with the bespoke color-matching offered by Bentley.