The famous Bentley Arnage really has stood the test of time well. So much so, the brand is continuing its traditional elegance with the new Mulsanne – a car clearly cut from the same cloth.
Ignore the early BMW-engined Arnage models, though: it has to be the 6.75-litre V8. The turbocharged 6.75-litre V8 has been progressively upped in power, from 400bhp to 450bhp and, from 2007, to 500bhp. The massive low end torque provides effortless pull away and overtaking. It has the silkysmooth, waft-along ride that buyers expect from this type of Bentley.
The newest cars have more controlled suspension replacing the traditional ‘wallow’ of earlier cars, with smoother ride and less body roll. The Bentley Arnage offers supreme comfort, excellent climate control and probably the finest hide interior on the market. The ‘Mulliner’ is an optional pack of upgraded diamond quilted hides interior and various billet metal finishers, trimmings and wheels.
There are two core versions: the Arnage R and the Arnage T. The Bentley Arnage R is the more refined and opulent version, while the Bentley Arnage T offers a more sporting experience, using the 500bhp motor instead of the Arnage R’s 450bhp. There is also the Arnage RL: a long wheelbase version adding 10 inches of additional space to the rear cabin.
As for the Arnage’s two-door convertible bedfellow, some buyers get a little confused by the Azure.
Less dynamically capable than the Bentley GTC, the Azure nevertheless offers the wafty V8 with a magic carpet ride. Old-fashioned and boat like, from a bygone era, the Azure delivers a level of exclusivity and style from a vehicle of such bulk is a feat.
There are hardly any cars out there, such is its exclusivity, but they still have a fiercely loyal and strong following. Because, other than the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead there’s nothing like it, people really are committed to the car. It’s the signature four seater convertible for trips to the French Riviera.
For those who find even this not quite exclusive enough, Bentley also offers the Brooklands coupe. A ‘snip’ at £230,000, it boasts a fearsome 530bhp, and a staggering torque figure of 1050Nm. Yes, you read that right. Bentley has committed to build no more than 550 during the car’s lifetime. Exclusivity and an ‘experience’ guaranteed. These Bentleys are ‘old money’ statements, which appeal to captains of industry, entrepreneurs and self made men in equal measure. Many buyers have one of these along with a Ferrari, rather than instead of.
They are the last bastion of traditional Englishness. The Bentley Arnage has since been replaced by the Mulsanne, and this carries on the car’s traditional approach, but with a good dose of modernity, too. It is just the car the market is seeking – and, as it is considered the ‘range topping Bentley’, will command respect from those who like to be seen in the best. Yes, the Rolls-Royce Ghost is cheaper – but that car is second in command to the much more expensive Phantom. Bentley could thus have scored a coup with its positioning of the Mulsanne.
The above is extracted from a 68 page luxury car market report that can be found on www.clivesutton.co.uk.