Bentley Arnage T
(2002 – to date)
2002 Bentley Arnage T, Chassis-No. #2CX08744. The Bentley Arnage was registered in Germany, where certain unlimited stretches of highway permit to make full use of the twin-turbo engine’s power.
Bentley Motors Ltd. decided to launch their Bentley Arnage T at NAIAS in Detroit, the North American International Auto Show. When in January 2002 the new car made its debut the manufacturer highlighted this to be the most powerful road-going Bentley off all times and the fastest saloon in the world that was built as a standard production four door saloon.
Some 80 Mio GBP (ca. 116 Mio US$) had been invested in evaluating almost every area of the car for its suitability to 21st century demands. First to be mentioned is the total redesign of the engine that had been developed from the well known 6 ¾ litre V8-configuration. Minimal component carry over was stated as 50 % was all new and 80 % of the remainder had been subject to re-engineering. Compared to the Bentley Arnage Red Label‘s single Garrett T4 turbocharger the boost was supplied by two Garrett T3 turbochargers now. Most notable among the advantages of twin turbochargers were more power and reduced response time. Close-coupled catalytic converters heated up to their operating temperatures more quickly and thus cutting emissions was achieved, the new engine was fully compliant with existing and foreseeable global emissions legislation to 2004. As regards the Bentley Arnage Red Label some complications had been met, when electronic control units from Bosch and EMS Zytek (engine management) needed suitably adjustment to become compatible. By switching over to engine management via Bosch Motronic
ME7.1.1 that problem area became inexistent. The new Bentley Arnage T almost entirely employed electronic from Bosch. A single belt drive in front of the engine replaced the multiple belt system, that could become an owner’s nightmare once a belt «failed to proceed».
Neither changes as regards the well-proven GM 4L80-E 4-speed automatic gearbox nor as regards the ventilated disc brakes all round – though that can only be stated for cars built up to September 2006. A new back axle had twice the torque handling capability and compared to the previous the added bonus of being slightly lighter. However any reduction of weight of that component didn’t mean much considering the car’s overall weight of 2.585 kg. With the launch of the model year 2007 (in September 2006) a major improvement was the substitution of the old 4-speed automatic by a ZF 6-speed automatic transmission that permitted very smooth gearchanges. The body structure was stiffened by adding a brace inside the wheel arches, including a bow in the roof and reinforcing the front bulkhead. Notable were thicker sills, too. The Bentley Arnage T achieved a top speed of 168 mph (270 km/h) and accelerated in 5.5 seconds from 0-60mph; figures that previously had been clearly beyond the borderline. The adoption of a Bosch ESP 5.7. stability system enhanced handling, providing the driver with a stet of the art electronic stability program.
Subtle outward changes (e.g. new front bumper with lower air dam) were complemented by a re-designed interior. The seats distinctive looks was achieved by a combination of a diamond pattern using perforated hide and contrasting stitching plus an embroidered Bentley motif. Engine-turned aluminium for both the instrument surround and the waist rails in the doors clearly set a sportive note. On top of the dashboard a pop-up screen displayed information from a DVD-based satellite navigation system and Kevlar covered picnic tables were indications that the age of a club-like interior had gone. Nothing was lost though for clients with a more conservative taste. They were offered to get a Bentley Arnage T tailored via «Personal Commissioning».