Bentley is a slightly lower-priced companion brand to Rolls-Royce, and the Arnage sedan is the same basic car as the Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph but with a slightly different appearance and unique features.
The major change this year is that the Arnage Green Label model and its 4.4-liter BMW V-8 engine stay in England and only the Arnage Red Label version comes to the United States with a Bentley 6.7-liter V-8 and a price tag in the neighborhood of $210,000.
Bentley and Rolls-Royce currently retain their original ownership, but this arrangement will change on Jan. 1, 2003. At that time, Volkswagen assumes ownership of Bentley and BMW takes over Rolls-Royce. Until then, the current owners will produce, sell and service both marques worldwide.
You may expect a car of this pedigree to be the size of a yacht, but the Arnage is 212 inches long a few inches shorter than the Lincoln Town Car. Its weight, however, is more substantial: Bentley estimates the fully loaded weight is 6,275 pounds.
Bentley offers buyers a palette of 27 exterior colors for the hand-built Arnage, and custom finishes are available to those who want something special.
Buyers choose from walnut, oak, birds-eye maple or black lacquer interior trim to complement the grade A hide upholstery, available in 23 colors in the Arnage. Amid all this traditional luxury is a high-tech, satellite-linked navigation system. A display screen pops up from the dashboard for use and stows out of sight when it is off.
While some luxury cars have a drivers seat that automatically moves rearward to ease entry and exit, the Arnage also provides this feature for both sides of the rear seat.
Under the Hood
The Red Label comes with a four-speed automatic transmission and a turbocharged 6.7-liter V-8 engine that generates 400 horsepower. Bentley says the Red Label reaches 60 mph in 5.9 seconds.