Image credits: © Bentley.

2009 Bentley Arnage Final Series

2009 Bentley Arnage Final Series
Since its debut in 1998 the Arnage has conveyed an air of sophisticated understatement as the four-door flagship of the Bentley range. Over the last decade the car has undergone a process of constant refinement to its body, design, chassis and powertrain to maintain its class-leading position in the high luxury market.
• Handcrafted at Bentley, Crewe, Arnage Final Series is an exclusive run of 150 cars, celebrating the last of Arnage

• Combining the performance of the T with the refinement of the R, Arnage Final Series is the ultimate expression of class-leading luxury and effortless power

• Arnage Final Series is the culmination of 90 years of Bentley heritage and marks the 50th anniversary of the company's iconic V8 engine

• Arnage Final Series also signals the end of an era as Bentley prepares for the future

INTRODÚCTION Since its debut in 1998 the Arnage has conveyed an air of sophisticated understatement as the four-door flagship of the Bentley range. Over the last decade the car has undergone a process of constant refinement to its body, design, chassis and powertrain to maintain its class-leading position in the high luxury market.

To celebrate 10 years of the Arnage, 50 years of its mighty V8 engine and 90 years of the marque, Bentley Motors will launch its limited edition model at the Paris Motor Show next week.

Called the Bentley Arnage Final Series, the new model features a unique specification, combining the performance of the 500 bhp Arnage T with the refinement of the Arnage R and design elements from the Brooklands coupe, for the ultimate expression of British luxury and effortless power in a four-door saloon – a grand finale, for the grandest of Bentleys.

Hand crafted at Bentley's Crewe facility, the Final Series is an exclusive run of 150 cars, a unique example of the marque's flagship created to bid ‘farewell' to the highly successful Arnage line in the most appropriate manner and style. Bentley Chairman and Chief Executive, Dr Franz-Josef Paefgen, explains:

'For 10 years, Arnage has enjoyed extraordinary success at the pinnacle of the luxury saloon market. The Final Series is a celebration of the Arnage era as Bentley prepares for the next generation of its flagship model.'


2009 Bentley Arnage Final Series
• Limited production run of 150 cars
• Arnage T powertrain with 6 ¾ litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine, producing 500 bhp and 1000 Nm of torque

• Six-speed ZF automatic transmission with sophisticated locking torque converter provides fast yet ultra-smooth gearshifts

• Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) logic system improves dynamic response and handling with less intrusive intervention when a reduction in grip is detected

• Tyre Pressure Monitoring System fitted as standard

Exterior design styling changes include:
o 20-inch five-spoke alloy wheels
o Retractable ‘Flying B' bonnet mascot
o Body coloured headlamp bezels
o Dark tint matrix upper and lower grilles
o Lower front wing air vents
o ‘FINAL SERIES' badge on front wings
o Bentley ‘Jewel' fuel filler cap
o Twin exhaust tail pipes
Interior design enhancements include:
o ‘FINAL SERIES' treadplates to front doors
o Drilled alloy brake and accelerator pedals
o Waistrails with inset chrome strip and recessed Bentley marque badges (for the first time on Arnage)
o Rear cocktail cabinet and document stowage trimmed in hide
o FINAL SERIES stainless steel flask and shot glasses
o Two picnic tables available in a range of premium unbleached veneers
Four Bentley umbrellas with wooden handles
Further enhancements to the standard Final Series specification include:
o Large display audio head unit with Secure Digital (SD) memory card slot
o Removable rear cup holders for rear centre armrest
o Hide covered boot rail
Further enhancements to the Final Series optional specification include:
o iPod interface
o Rear remote control for infotainment system
o Naim for Bentley audio system: 1100W, 10 speakers and next-generation Digital Signal Processing (DSP) with 8 modes to create the world's best in-car sound stage.


For the last ten years the Arnage's combination of muscular lines and understated luxury have endowed it with a commanding road presence synonymous with all Bentley Grand Tourers, subtly conveying the car's formidable performance potential. This powerful exterior profile is underpinned by a torsionally stiff bodyshell (with an astonishing 6,500 spot welds) that helps to deliver outstanding ride and refinement.

Based on the sporting Arnage T, the Final Series offers a range of discreet exterior cues that further enhance its powerful stance. Key ingredients of the distinctive appearance include a dark-tinted Bentley matrix radiator grille with Flying ‘B' mascot and dark-tinted lower grille. The iconic Flying ‘B', which can retract neatly into the grille surround, was originally designed by motoring artist F. Gordon Crosby and was first used on the 1930 Bentley 8-Litre.

The Arnage Final Series is further distinguished by exterior design features first seen on the exclusive Bentley Brooklands coupe, comprising 20-inch five-spoke, two-piece alloy wheels and ‘Le Mans' lower front wing air vents.

Additional unique features include body-coloured front and rear lamp bezels, ‘jewel' fuel filler cap (made from billet aluminium) together with ‘Final Series' wing badges and polished stainless steel treadplates to the front doors.

2009 Bentley Arnage Final Series
The Arnage Final Series will have a very special appeal to Bentley customers, as Peter Guest, Head of Department, Body & Trim, explains:

'Thanks to its hand-built exclusivity and superb quality, Arnage has become a world-wide benchmark for automotive craftsmanship. The Final Series epitomises the truly bespoke feel we aspire to and are determined to maintain.'

Inside, the Final Series is everything you would expect of a bespoke Bentley, offering the highest levels of hand-craftsmanship to a small, but discerning audience. The interior offers a remarkably spacious, luxury cabin to provide the ultimate in first-class travel for four adults.

Many of the most desirable Mulliner options are included in Final Series as standard, most notably the hand-made waistrails with inset chrome strip with recessed Bentley badges, the new rear cocktail cabinet and document storage trimmed in hide, plus the beautifully designed picnic tables available in a choice of three premium unbleached wood veneers – all prime examples of Crewe craftsmanship.
Bentley is the only automobile manufacturer in the world to offer as standard a cabin trimmed entirely with leather hides – including the headlining. The hand-crafted steering wheel requires up to 16 hours of double-stitching.

A set of mirror-matched veneers for each car takes 13 days to craft, while 17 hides and almost 400 separate pieces of leather are used for the upholstery, trim and headlining. Arnage Final Series spans the many eras between traditional coachbuilding skills and 21st century high-performance automotive engineering.

As in every Bentley, peerless craftsmanship and bespoke finishing are to the fore. Every item of trim, be it veneer, hide or chromed bezel, uses authentic materials. Built by hand, the creation of each Arnage takes a minimum of six weeks and owners can take full advantage of Mulliner, Bentley's specialist commissioning department, as Trevor Gay, Personal Commissioning Manager, Mulliner elaborates:

'Úp to 80 percent of Arnage customers specify Mulliner features. Mulliner is completely dedicated to fully understanding their requirements and to delivering a bespoke experience and a uniquely high level of personal service.'

Arnage Final Series is available in the full Bentley range of 42 exterior colours, 25 interior hides, and three veneers, plus the comprehensive line-up of Mulliner options and its bespoke colour-matching service that enable Bentley owners to create a uniquely personal car.

To help customers finalise the specification of their Arnage Final Series, the Bentley design team recommends six classic colour and trim combinations – Titan Grey (with Anthracite interior), Royal Ebony (with Beluga), Windsor Blue (with Windsor Blue), Meteor (with Imperial Blue), Burnt Oak (with Burnt Oak) and Black Velvet (with Burgundy).


2009 Bentley Arnage Final Series

Arnage Final Series buyers will also benefit from a range of standard and optional feature enhancements. Standard enhancements include:
• New audio head unit – with larger display screen and an SD (secure digital) memory card slot instead of the single CD slot.

• New rear cup holders – displaying Bentley craftsmanship, these removable cup holders attach to the front edge of the rear centre armrest, or can be stored inside the armrest.

• New hide covered boot rail – features coordinated leather trim and a chrome strip along the top edge.

New optional enhancements available at extra cost:

• iPod Interface – links to the Infotainment system and enables customers to play their favourite music through the car's audio system. Supplied with connectors for iPod, ÚSB, Mini ÚSB and a 3.5mm AÚX jack. Includes a 12 volt power outlet for charging purposes.

• Rear remote control – enables the rear seat passengers to control the infotainment system. When not in use it can be stored in a dedicated pouch inside the rear centre armrest.

Naim for Bentley world class audio system – delivers the world's best in-car sound stage. Created in partnership with Bentley by Naim Audio, a ÚK-based high end hi-fi manufacturer, this system features 10 speakers, a dual channel sub-woofer and a 1100 Watt amplifier – the world's most powerful production unit fitted in a car. Bentley is also the first car manufacturer to use a next-generation Digital Signal Processor (DSP) in its audio system which features eight individual modes to reproduce true emotions and a ‘live' concert-like experience.


The engine, transmission, chassis and running gear of the Arnage Final Series are identical to those previously employed in Arnage T. In this specification, Bentley's remarkable all-aluminium 6 ¾ litre V8 engine produces 500 bhp (507PS/373kW) and 1000 Nm (738lb ft) of torque – figures that ensure that the legendary Bentley ‘wave of torque' delivers effortless performance for a unique driving experience.

Acceleration to 60 mph is accomplished in 5.2 seconds (0-100km/h in 5.5 secs) with 100 mph reached in 12.1 seconds (0-160km/h in 12.0 seconds). Top speed of the Final Series is 179 mph / 288 km/h. Each V8 engine bears the signature of the team leader who oversaw its hand-built construction in the Crewe factory.

The six-speed ZF automatic transmission, first introduced for the 2007 model, ensures optimum flexibility, response and refinement. Three transmission modes (Drive, Sport and Semi-Automatic) allow the driver to take full advantage of the powerful 500 bhp V8 engine.

The fitment of Bentley's legendary V8 engine in the Final Series in its most powerful Arnage form is an ideal way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this renowned powertrain.

Drawing on the wealth of aircraft engine experience gained at Crewe – manufacturing thousands of Merlin engines to power such famous British WW2 planes as the Hurricane, Spitfire, Mosquito and Lancaster – the first Bentley V8 engine was designed and built in 1959.

The fact that Bentley's V8 design has served the marque remarkably well for five decades should not come as a surprise, as Dr Úlrich Eichhorn, Member of the Board, Engineering, comments:

'The original forward-thinking design of the all-aluminium Bentley V8 was a masterpiece and so good that we have been able to improve it continuously for nearly 50 years.

Today's engine produces around two and a half times the power of its 1959 predecessor, fuel consumption is only 60 percent of the original and emissions are an incredible 99 percent lower.'

In 1959 the power and torque of that first 6.23-litre 90-degree V8 engine in the Bentley S2 saloon was officially described as 'adequate'. Actual output was around 200 bhp with 400 Nm of torque. Today, the Final Series 6 ¾ V8 produces 500 bhp and 1000 Nm with over 90 percent of that torque available between 1,800 and 3,800 rev/min.

One of the reasons Bentley's V8 engine has evolved so successfully is the position of the exhaust valves, high in the cylinder head with short ports, originally designed for rapid heat dissipation to help engine cooling. Decades later this meant that the catalytic converters could be quickly heated thanks to the short path from valves to catalysts, which benefits exhaust emissions.

Driven by the need to meet increasingly stringent exhaust gas legislation around the world and the desire of many Bentley drivers for more power, the V8 engine has progressively evolved over the years.

In 1962 an increased compression ratio enhanced performance. Seven years later, for the Bentley T-series, the V8 engine underwent a far greater power boost with a longer stroke increasing capacity to 6 ¾ litres, where it remains to this day.

The introduction of turbocharging in 1982 delivered an even more dramatic increase in power to 297bhp to create the Bentley Mulsanne Turbo. The later introduction of port injection systems and a charge cooler for the turbo further improved performance.

In 1999 the V8 engine was introduced into the Arnage, codenamed 'F1', with a single turbocharger, by now developing 400bhp/298kW and 616lbft/835 Nm of torque. This was followed in 2002 by the 'F6' version featuring twin turbochargers, boosting power to 450bhp/336kW with 645lbft/875 Nm of torque.

The V8 engine underwent perhaps its most extensive development in 2006 taking power to 500 bhp and torque to 1000 Nm. The introduction of two low-inertia, quick-reacting turbochargers that operate with far greater efficiency at lower engine speeds, reach maximum turbine speed in half the time of the previous units.

Furthermore, a re-profiled camshaft with an all-new roller tappet system provided revised valve timing and substantially improved refinement. These changes also delivered increased power, enhanced durability and ensured compliance with European EÚ IV and ÚS LEV II emission standards. ( posted on


Commenting on the final chapter of the Arnage story, Stuart McCullough, Member of the Board, Sales and Marketing, says:

'The Final Series is the perfect model to give our Arnage flagship a splendid send off. Handcrafted at Crewe, this exclusive run of 150 cars represents the ultimate expression of Bentley luxury and effortless power.'

Source - Bentley
The luxurious Bentley Arnage was debuted at the Sarthe Circuit in France on the 26th of April of 1998. This was considered fitting because this was the racecourse where Bentley's had finished first place in the legendary '24 Hours of Le Mans' at least five times during their history. The name Arnage was taken from the challenging bend at the famous track. The Arnage measuring 197 inches long, 75 inches wide and featured a curb weight of more than 2.5 metric tons. At one point, it was the fastest and most powerful four-door saloon on the market.

The first of a new generation of sporting Bentleys, the Arnage featured great mid-range pulling power alongside superb levels of refinement. A large luxury vehicle produced by Bentley Motors in Crewe England, the Arnage was introduced in 98 and ran until 2009. Introduced in the spring of 1998 alongside it's Rolls-Royce branded sibling; the Silver Seraph, both were the first brand new designs for the two marques since 1980. Completely breaking from tradition, these new vehicles had bodies constructed at the Crewe factory, with its internal combustion engines built elsewhere.

Some Bentley enthusiasts were unhappy that the vehicle lost the traditional 6750cc V8; a powerplant that could trace its history back to the 1950's, it instead featured a 4.4-liter turbo-charged V8 engine from BMW. The BMW engine, with Cosworth-engineered twin-turbo installation was an excellent unit that delivered tons of power and torque. Diehard Bentley devotees weren't pacified though until September of 1999 when the Volkswagen Group, Bentley's parent company, offered the huge Rolls-Royce 6.8-liter V8 in a new version of the Arnage.

In 1998 during the takeover battle between BMW and Volkswagen Group for possession of Rolls Royce and Bentley Motors, BMW threatened to halt supply of their engines if Volkswagen Group won. This threat was later withdrawn when BMW acquired the right to manufacture the Rolls Royce marque at a new location and it was obvious that Volkswagen couldn't accept the risks association with having their long-term business partner as a rival. In response Volkswagen got ready their old 6.75 liter 16-valve engine from the Turbo R, which they mated to an outdated 4-speed automatic. Unfortunately this combination made for a thirsty engine that wouldn't meet Government-imposed emission standards without quick modifications.

The BMW-powered version was called the Green Label, while the Rolls-Royce engine model was dubbed the Red Label. Both Red and Green Label vehicles received stiffer body shells along with larger wheels and brakes. 2000 model year vehicles were fitted with more powerful brakes while the Green Label model received the 18-inch wheels that were displayed by the more powerful Red Label variant. Because of the extra weight of the British engine the stiffer body shell was a priority, the same with the larger brakes. Unfortunately though despite the larger brakes, the performance only worsened with the additional weight of 6.75 engine. The 1999 Green Label had braking performance from 70-0 at 172 feet while the Arnage T's performance was 182 feet from 70-0.
Other revisions included adding park distance control to the front and rear, making a pop up Alpine navigation system standard and increasing the rear seat legroom. The steering rack was also modified to reduce steering effort at low speed and adding power folding exterior mirrors. The headlight lens covers transitioned from glass to plastic.

Bentley public relations department hinted at customer demand for the reason behind the reversal of the previous two valve per cylinder 6.75 liter unit for the Red Label. Most consumers accepted this, but few criticized the BMW motor as lacking in power and dull. The BMW-powered Arnage was more up-to-date, more fuel efficient and featured 32 valves with double overhead camshafts, twin turbo and Bosch engine management technology, rather than 16 valve, single turbo and a pushrod motor with considerably less advanced engine management.

Less than a second of the 0-60 mph time was shaved from the Red Label's growth in motive power. The BMW's twin turbo unit did continue to remain more responsive and nimble from the driver's perspective due to its DOHC engine being more responsive along with better weight balance and nearly 600lb lower curb weight.

The Green Label was sturdier and more reliable as well as being cheaper to service in the long run. The BMW engine's output drawback was the ZF 5HP30 transmission; which wasn't rated to handle more than 413 lb/ft of torque that the twin turbo engine was tuned to produce.

The production of the aged 6.75 liter Roll's Royce engine was outsourced for use in the continued Azure and Continental models to Cosworth, so going back to the old standby engine was a easy choice for the company. The Red Label model went back to the old V8 engine that featured torque of 835 newton meters with a single Garrett T4 turbo charger. At this time, it was the highest amount of torque for a four-door vehicle. The GM-sourced four-speed 4L80-E automatic transmission also made reappearance.

The Green Label was very quietly dropped shortly afterwards in 2000.

The Arnage RL was a long-wheelbase model introduced in 2001. It was 9.8 inches longer than the original Arnage with the extra length at the rear doors and its C-pillar. The RL model had rear wheel butts a few inches further back than the standard Arnage model whose wells butt up against the rear door-frames. The effect was a larger rear area on the interior of the vehicle. Sometime dubbed 'double-cut' in the U.S. the type of saloon stretch was named this was because of the two main points where the car is extended. Each Arnage RL was individually customized for the buyer.

Arnage RL wheelbases ranged from 131.3 inches to 140.4 inches, and even sometimes 151.3 inches. The longest wheelbase version, the 151-inch version had its length stretched between the front and rear doors instead of at the C-pillar at the rear doors, American limousine-style. The large car handled well due to the suspension being retuned for the added weight. Many Arnage RL limousines were ordered with bulletproof elements, reflecting the clientele of the vehicle. For a hefty pricetag starting at $243,000, a full B6 package was available which offers protection from grenades and assault weapons. As of 2006, the Arnage RL continues to remain in production.

The RL featured a completely reworked version of the old 6.75 liter V8 engine. Over half of the engine's parts were brand new, with the old Zytech system being replaced with Bosch Motronic ME7.1.1 engine management and two small Garrett T3 turbochargers replacing the single large T4. This new engine was said to be capable of meeting all future emissions requirements and developed 405 metric horsepower and 835 newton meters. Similar to the originally Cosworth-BMW unit developed for the 98 Arnage, the RL was powered by a modern twin-turbo unit with state-of-the-art electronic management system.

In 2002 Bentley updated the Red Label as the series two Arnage R. The Arnage T was the more sporting model and was introduced in contrast to the Arnage R. Same with the RL the Arnage R features two Garrett T3 turbochargers. It also claimed to be the most powerful road warrior at its debut at the Detroit Motor Show in 2002. There were twin-turbochargers, like with the Arnage R, but they were tuned to develop 465 metric horsepower and 875 newton meters. The T's top speed was 170 mpg and could achieve 0-60mph in just 5.5 seconds. All R & T models share the same 122.7 in wheelbase. In 2005 the Arnage range was updated and the front end now resembled the new Continental GT.

In honor of the Queens Golden Jubilee in 2002, the Bentley State Limousine was an official vehicle created by Bentley Motors Limited. Only two were built. The car's twin-turbocharged 6.75-liter V8 engine was converted from Bentley's Arnage R version to produce 296 kW; 397 bhp and 616 lb/ft or torque.

For 2007 the Arnage R received low-inertia Mitsubishi units designed to enhance engine response that replaced the Garrett turbochargers. This model year's engine was joined to a variant of the six-speed ZF automatic transmission found in the Continental range. The engine capacity was increased from 411.8 cu in to 412.6 cu in. Due to the new tuning, the horsepower was bumped up to 500 (368 kW; 493 bhp) and 1,000 newton meters in the Arnage T, while the Arnage R featured 460 metric horsepower and 875 newton meters. The Arnage T was performance oriented and could reach 0-60 mph in just 5.2 seconds with a top speed of 179 mph.

For 2006 Bentley commemorated their 60 years of production at the Crewe factory with a unique Diamond Series Arnage. A total of 60 vehicles were planned, mostly for the United States. The vehicles featured diamond quilted leather seats, diamond wood inlays, special 19-inch alloy wheels, a stainless steel front bumper and Union Jack badges on the front wings.

Two years later in September of 2008 it was announced that Arnage production would cease the following year, once a final run of 150 'Final Series' models had been completed. The Final Series included the Arnage T powertrain and the twin-turbo 6.75 V8 engine that produced 500 metric horsepower and approximately 1,000 newton meters of torque. Through a six-speed ZF automatic transmission the powertrain delivers torque to the rear wheels.

On the exterior the Final Series featured special 20-inch alloy wheels, body-colored headlamp bezels, a retractable 'Flying B' mascot, dark tint matrix upper and lower grilles, lower front wing vents, special badging and a 'Jewel-style' fuel filler cap. Mulliner designed the interior of the car, and featured Final Series kick plates, special chrome trim, drilled alloy pedals, two picnic tables and a rear cocktail cabinet. This model also came with a premium 1,000 watt audio system by Naim Audio and came with four distinct umbrellas.

Forty-Two exterior color schemes were offered with this model, twenty-five interior hides and three wood veneers. Customers could also specify bespoke color- matching offered by Bentley. The Arnage Final Series marks the 50th Anniversary of Bentley's V8 engine. The 2009 version of the engine continues to be loosely based on the same design that was introduced way back on the 1959 Bentley S2. Though the 2008 engine shares no identical parts with the 1950 model, the final common item having been replaced in 2005. Advertising of the engine when first introduced described the power and torque as 'adequate'. Twin-turbocharged, the all-aluminum alloy engine delivers 0-60mph in just 5.3 seconds. The car weighs 2.5 tons.

In 2009 a replacement model called the Bentley Mulsanne was debuted in August at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in Monterey, California. Because of separate parent companies, the design of the Mulsanne will now be completely separate and independent from Rolls-Royce cars. Rolls-Royce is held by BMW and Bentley is held by the Volkswagen Group.


By Jessica Donaldson
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