First official picture, full unveil this summer
10 June 2009

This is the first picture of the Bentley Arnage replacement, which the company is calling the 'new grand Bentley'.

Bentley says the new car will be "exceptional in all respects on the road" and that it represents "the purest expression of the Bentley spirit."

Watch the new Bentley Arnage on video here

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One of the clearest new design features is the adoption of a triangular clamshell-style bonnet that tapers towards the grille.

The previous Arnage bonnet opened along the top of the wings but the new design is similar to the Continental and Flying Spur.

See the all latest Bentley Arnage reviews, news and video

It is expected the car will herald an all-new design era for Bentley, with the company using modified versions of Audi's spaceframe chassis in future.

Despite the radical engineering, which should remove around 150kg from the weight of the bodyshell alone, Bentley chairman Franz-Josef Paefgen has previously emphasised to Autocar that the new Arnage will continue to have the unique proportions of the current model, particularly the traditional high roof and seating position, that give the car its "soul".

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Bentley has confirmed it is not close to launching either diesel or hybrid versions of its cars, because most recent research indicates that few buyers want it.

"We have the technology to do a diesel right now," said Paefgen, "but whether we do it really depends on how successful VW, Mercedes and others are at normalising diesel sales in the US.

"Bentley could never lead the field in that area. You could only ever respond to a strong demand."

The company's possible future requirements have been included in recent VW-Audi hybrid research, however, and it also has easy access to Audi's big-capacity V10 and V12 engines.

Despite global concern over high oil prices, it has recently built an Arnage prototype powered by the 987bhp Bugatti W16 engine.

Bugatti wants to find new uses for its legendary quad-turbo unit, which is hugely expensive to make and underutilised as power for the million-pound supercar alone. However, it is far from certain that the New Grand Bentley will use this unit.

The car is expected to be unveiled this summer.

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