Bentley is planning an unprecedented number of new models in the next two years, under the stewardship of new owners Volkswagen. Autocar has obtained the first, exclusive details of the key new models that are being developed.
A 600bhp W16 version of the Arnage is in the pipeline, designed to battle the Rolls-Royce Phantom and Maybach. Being developed under the codename BQA – Bloody Quick Arnage – the first road-going prototype is due on the road this week.
Based on the new BY821 Arnage, but with an extra 250mm in the wheelbase, the BQA will be powered by a naturally aspirated version of the Bugatti Veyron’s W16 engine. It will be mated to a new six-speed automatic ’box.
The model has yet to be confirmed for production, but product planners have sketched out a total run of up to 250 cars with a price tag of at least £250,000 each. Bentley refuses to discuss the model officially: ‘We don’t speculate on new models,’ said a spokesman.
If engineering and production feasibility projects go as planned, the BQA could be available as soon as December this year.
Depending on customer response, the model may be built as a series production model on the Crewe assembly line, or handed to Bentley’s specialist coach-builder Mulliner, which would tailor each car to individual customer specification.
Bentley’s prototype department has also built an open-top Arnage, being developed under the code names BY825 and BY835.
This model is not yet confirmed for production, but Bentley is aware that Rolls-Royce is planning a soft-top Phantom, inspired by the imposing 100 EX concept. The two-door soft-top Arnage is a running prototype and features a conventional folding canvas roof and 10mm lower rear suspension.