While the credit crunch has decimated sales of the smaller, only mildly disgustingly expensive Phaeton based Bentley, demand for, the bigger, could buy HBOS for that Arnage and its spin offs, has remained buoyant. Buyers to be old money types, the sort who brought Bentleys when the Crewe firm was still owned by Rolls Royce. And they are rich enough not to be too worried about the odd bank collapsing. Perfect timing then for Bentley to release the new Arnage. Bigger, posher and even more expensive, the new range topping four door is aimed squarely at the Rolls Royce Phantom, which has had the market for uber-saloon sewn up for the past five years. Boss Franz Josef Paefgen will take the wraps off the car at the 2008 Frankfurt motor show and the first cars should find homes early in 2010. Despite a pricetag of more than $200k, Bentley hopes 700 wealthy families will give an Arnage a home each year. Though it uses a modified version of the current car’s platform, the new Arnage will be 150mm longer in wheelbase, making it around 5500mm long.
A very big car then, but making extensive use of aluminum for bolt on panels will actually reduce kerbweight compared with the current car. And that despite retaining the big 6.75 liter V8, putting out around 505 bhp in its 50th year in production. The lower kerbweight should help improve on the current’s car 5.5 sec, 0-60 mph time and 179 mph top speed as well as its green credentials.