Second image of Arnage replacement, plus exclusive details of the car
8 July 2009

Bentley has released a new picture of the replacement for the Arnage — and Autocar can reveal that the new flagship’s styling will feature dramatic proportions and an unusual twin-headlight arrangement.

Due to be unveiled at next month’s Pebble Beach concours in California, the new car’s striking headlamps are a dominant feature of its styling.

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A pair of large circular LED headlamps are positioned high and close to the expansive chromed grille surround.

Sited lower down and towards the outer edge of the nose are a pair of driving lamps, a layout that nods towards Bentleys from the past.

Below the grille is a chromed lower air intake that echoes the new styling theme of Bentley parent VW. It runs the full width of the nose to emphasise the stance of the “Grand Bentley”, as the car is currently known.

Sticking with a 5m-plus length, the new Bentley will feature a lower roofline and softer body sections than its main rival, the Rolls-Royce Phantom.

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To maintain Bentley’s sportier brand positioning, the new Bentley’s window area is understood to be relatively shallow, which lends a rakish look to the styling.

Its rear doors hinge conventionally, unlike the coach doors of the Phantom. The bodywork is all new and understood to feature a mix of steel and alloy componentry, with expensive but unseen technology such as the wiring loom, air conditioning and switch bases sourced from the VW parts bin.

The engine will continue to be a turbocharged 6.75-litre V8, but the significant componentry is new, ousting parts that can trace their ancestry back to 1949 when Rolls-Royce/Bentley designed the engine that powers the Arnage.

What's the Arnage's new name?

To emphasise that the car is new from the ground up, Bentley will ditch the Arnage name. The new name may be lifted from the history books but, whatever its inspiration, it will have to convey a major move upmarket.

The price will increase, too. It will take the flagship Bentley closer to the Rolls Phantom, with a price will over £200,000.

Julian Rendell

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