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More on Bentley in these books:

Hull: Inside the Rolls-Royce and Bentley Styling Department 

 

 

Car of the Month - March 2019
Bentley Arnage T, 2002, #


Bentley Arnage T

In 1998 the Bentley Arnage had been launched at Le Mans. The company had chosen the town in France because of the strong connections with the incredible motor sport victories there in the marque's history. A few weeks prior to that event the sister model Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph had been introduced. As regards body both variants did share the design developed by the Crewe’s Styling Department’s team headed by Graham Hull in his position as Chief Stylist. In 1994 the top floor had signed off the new saloon that had started with the code "SXB" and went through final development stages re-named "P600". Clear separation of the brands, beside extern features like radiator shells and emblems, were the Bentley's peculiar interior theme that differed considerably from that of the Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph. Even more significant were the individual power plants: a V12-engine under the bonnet of the Rolls-Royce whereas the Bentley did sport a turbocharged V8-engine.

Bentley Arnage T

It has been the latter though that didn’t meet with applause from all. A considerable fraction from the circle of potential purchasers was not too impressed by advantages from sportive handling thanks to reduced weight on the front axle. When an up-dated version of “the old 6 ¾ -litre V8-engine” became offered as an alternative that ignited such overwhelming demand the 4 ½–litre V8 was discontinued. Notwithstanding the increased weight penalty (ca. 200 kg more) and less economic fuel consumption. A technical tour de force revealed the immense amount of reserves which could be achieved – by a clever combination of phasing in new developments and permanent fine tuning – when in 2002 the Bentley Arnage T made its debut. Combustion chambers received their mixture via dual sophisticated turbochargers. The resulting power output of 875NM at 3,250rpm and 336 kW (450 bhp) did permit to accelerate the 4-door saloon with a kerbweight of more than 2,500 kg in less than 6 seconds from 0 to 60 mph and the top speed was listed with 170 mph. Other figures considered particularly important by discerning drivers, i.e. quick response to traffic situations, were most impressive, too. The car almost rocketed from 30 to 50 mph within 1.9 seconds and achieved acceleration from 50 to 80 mph within 3.8 seconds.

Bentley Arnage T

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All that happened elegantly with an attitude of limitless power with neither driver nor passengers detecting the slightest expression of stress that might have detracted from enjoying the cosy comfort of the opulent interior. In December 2002 in Italy the Bentley Arnage T was awarded the trophy of the World’s Most Beautiful Automobile. At that time Graham Hull had buried his tiny resentment towards this creation. The Chief Stylist had stated "due to the use of BMW 7-series headlamp reflectors, the Bentley round headlamp signature was more subtle than ideal". His comment on the Bentley Arnage T was one of unimpaired delight: "By the January 2002 introduction of the twin turbo, 6.75-litre V8 in the Arnage T, the marquee was demonstrating perhaps the highest levels achieved to date by Crewe craftsmen and women." It is a fair guess for him has been "the icing on the cake" that at some later stage the styling's marquee differentiation work that the Bentley should get four, separate round headlamps was phased in, too?

Bentley Arnage T

It is absolutely essential as regards these automobiles which by now have matured to "Youngtimer" status to ensure perfect function by meticulous service. Regular maintenance does demand a high level of competence – and that is also imperative for any repair work. Inevitably expenses for service and maintenance are substantial. The result of "standard market reactions" has been the enormous amount that has been due for a new Bentley Arnage T decreased at a steep rate to relatively modest price tags on pre-owned models. Even low-mileage cars with full service history are offered in the 30,000 EURO range. Good reason to speculate the devaluation-curve thus might almost hit the bottom. – In any case 30,000 EURO is the price that is asked for this lefthand-drive 2002 car produced to European specification; should you be interested send an e-mail, please, to rossfeldt@rrab.de.

Bentley Arnage T



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