10 June 2004

Bentley is to develop a unique platform for the replacement of its flagship Arnage saloon. A date has yet to be set for the new Arnage, although legislative hurdles suggest sometime between 2008-2010. Bentley chairman Franz-Josef Paefgen told Autocar that neither a stretched version of the Continental GT or the Audi A8 platform were suitable.

‘We will stay with two car lines,’ he said. ‘But I can’t see how we can have two different lines on one platform. And because our big car has to be special and unique, it can’t share with a volume-car platform such as the Audi A8’s.’

The Arnage’s bodyshell is assembled at Crewe, and will continue in its current form for some years yet. The venerable 6.75-litre V8 now meets Euro4 emissions, but the crunch date for the Arnage is 2012, when it must pass new pedestrian impact tests.

Strong Continental GT sales are expected to help Bentley to break even this year, the first time since VW took over in ’98.

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