The much anticipated Arnage is being teased to death through the company’s website at the moment. The latest “grand” Bentley video released on the site, I was assured by a company insider, didn’t actually show any of the new car.
Instead it talked in detail, accompanied by slightly irritating music, about how it takes three weeks to paint the car and any colour can be created, and it’s all done with an attention to detail a heart surgeon would call obsessive.
Bentley is on an image offensive. The Continental and Flying Spur are, whatever way you look at them, impressive cars. They have helped turn Bentley into a solid car company, with a range of cars, that have proved popular.
In some ways perhaps they have proved a little too popular, attracting people who would never before have bought a Bentley. And here lies the problem.
The Arnage replacement can’t be that sort of car, unashamedly built on bits of VW, and must reassert itself back in the exclusive segment. The new Rolls Royce did it the other way round, building the incredible Phantom, and then downsizing the concept for the Ghost.
The styling of the “grand” will be more old fashioned and less rakish than the Flying Spur, a car which has nose-dived on the secondhand market, giving a nod to Bentleys of old. I have no doubt Bentley can do it. But we’ll have to wait until the unveiling at Pebble Beach to find out for sure.