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Bentley Arnage: buying guide and review (1998-2010)

Bentley Arnage: buying guide and review (1998-2010) Classic and Performance Car
Bentley Arnage Bentley Arnage Bentley Arnage Bentley Arnage
If you’re looking for a classic car that provides a real sense of occasion, it just has to be the Bentley Arnage. Contemporary rivals such as the Mercedes S-Class may objectively be better, but if you want massive performance and luxury with soul, nothing comes close to Crewe’s missile.
 
Early models were fitted with a BMW-sourced twin-turbo V8 – a 4.4-litre unit developed specifically for the Bentley by Cosworth – but shortly after the company was taken over by the VW Group, a revised version of the old 6.75-litre Bentley Turbo V8 engine from the old Turbo R was slotted into the car to create the Red Label. 
 
While fuel consumption was even less impressive, this old engine saw much of the old Bentley character return to the Arnage, something many felt it had lost with the newer engine, which carried on as the Green Label for a few years. At the time, it was the torque figure that dominated proceedings pushing out 619lb ft in Red Label form (738lb in the lat Arnage T models), dwarfing everything else on the market. It isn’t just the peak figure that’s important though, it’s how the Bentley delivers its punch with such seeming ease. 
 
Indeed, so great is the Arnage’s appeal that while some cars are available for surprisingly little cash, really good examples of the later cars still fetch big money. That’s because when Bentley replaced the Arnage with the Continental Flying Spur, the latter wasn’t deemed to represent a mobile drawing room in quite the same way.
 
But whichever end of the spectrum you’re buying from, you can’t expect to run an Arnage on the cheap. These cars need specialist attention, and due to the high cost of spares and parts, you can reduce costs only so far. But find a good car along with the right specialist and your motoring will never be the same again.
 

Which Arnage to buy?

 
Bentley offered a wide variety of Arnage iterations to choose between and they all drive differently. Each came with its own unique suspension settings, engine set-ups and power output, while there was also a choice of wheelbases. And that’s just for the pushrod-V8 variants; add the BMW engine to the mix and you really are spoiled for choice.
 
As you’d expect, there isn’t much of an appetite for the BMW-engined cars, although they do have their devotees, largely because they’re cheaper to buy and more frugal than the 6.75-litre models.
 
Bentley made a series of changes to the chassis in 2002, which is why cars built from this point are so much better to drive – as well as to be driven in. It’s possible to upgrade earlier cars to the later spec, but it costs a lot, which is why you’re better off just buying a later car that’s already had the work done by the factory.
 
The pick of the bunch is the post-2006 Arnage with the 6.8-litre V8. Such cars are still worth a lot but there are some superb low-mileage examples about. If you’ve got particularly deep pockets track down a mint Le Mans or Final Edition model. They’re very sought after so prices are high, but these are likely to prove the best investment in the long term.
 

Performance and specs

 
Bentley Arnage T
Engine 6761cc, turbocharged V8
Power 500bhp @ 4200rpm
Torque 738lb ft @ 3200rpm
Gearbox Six-speed automatic
0-60mph 5.2sec
Top speed 179mph
Fuel consumption 14.0mpg
Insurance group 20
 

Dimensions and weight

 
Wheelbase 3116mm
Length 5400mm
Width 1932mm
Height 1515mm
Weight 2585kg
 

Common problems

 
• Corrosion isn’t usually an issue, although rust can strike in the wheelarches and sills of early cars. It shouldn’t have spread any further than this though; if there’s any sign of on other body panels assume the car has been abused and find another.
 
• The structure of an early Arnage isn’t as stiff as it should be, which is why they tend to creak, squeak and groan a surprising amount. Bentley upped the stiffness significantly though, so later cars are much more serene on the move.
 
• The Arnage’s nose is very upright which is why it can get clobbered by debris. As a result you need to check for paint chips and if the radiator grille is damaged, the cost of putting things right will probably be rather higher than you might expect.
 
• That classic pushrod V8 is incredibly tough and it’ll easily despatch more than 250,000 miles. The key is to ensure it’s serviced regularly and maintaining the correct anti-freeze concentration is essential. Internal corrosion is rare, but overheating can occur because of broken fan belts or leaking hoses. Listen out for knocking pistons, betraying an engine that’s been allowed to overheat.
 
• Head gasket failure struck some early Red Labels. Nobody knows why but the theory is that it was because of a reaction between the anti-freeze and the silicone in the gasket. You’re unlikely to find a car that hasn’t yet been fixed, but if you find an early low-mileage car it might just be an issue.
 
• All Arnages came with alloy wheels, which tend to suffer from peeling lacquer. Refurbishing what’s fitted needn’t be costly but replacement wheels will cost plenty, so size up the condition of what’s there. If split-rim alloys are fitted, bear in mind that these are easily damaged and expensive to refurbish.
 
• The suspension and brakes have a hard time because of the Bentley’s weight, which is why they’re often tired. Cars used only occasionally tend to suffer from corroded brake discs – and as these cars tend to be used only on an occasional basis nowadays, this is a particularly common issue.
 
• While you might expect the Bentley to roll and pitch, the Arnage should be able to corner with some vigour when you require it. If the car feels sloppy on the test drive, then it’s likely in need of a suspension and steering refresh.
 
• Interiors don’t always age well, so look for sagging leather seats, delaminating wood on the dashboard and tatty carpets. Predictably, if you have to invest in any re-trimming or refurbishment it’ll be costly.
 

Model history

 
1998: The Arnage debuts with a twin-turbo BMW 4.4-litre V8. 
1999: The Arnage Red Label appears in September, with a 400bhp 6.75-litre pushrod V8. The BMW-engined Arnage is now known as the Green Label, but sales pretty much stop.
2000: The Green Label is dropped and the Red Label gets improved rear seat space, standard sat-nav, speed-sensitive power steering, clear indicator lenses plus bigger (18-inch) wheels.
2001: Bentley launches the Arnage Le Mans; 154 are built with quad exhausts, vents in the front wings, flared wheelarches and beefier bumpers, plus red brake callipers and unique instrumentation.
2002: A LWB Red Label appears, limited to 155mph and capable of 0-60 in 5.9 seconds. Also launched is the Arnage T (450bhp and 168mph) along with the Arnage R (an updated Red Label).
2003: The Arnage RL has a wheelbase stretched by 9.8 inches and the Arnage T’s twin-turbo 450bhp V8.
2006: The V8 is overhauled in November, its displacement rising to 6761cc and power jumping by 50bhp.
2008: The run-out Arnage Final Series goes on sale in September with a 500bhp Arnage T powertrain; 96 are made.
 

Owners clubs, forums and websites

 
www.bdcl.orgBentley Drivers Club
www.bentleyownersclub.co.ukBentley Owners Club and forum
 

Summary and prices

 
Like all big Bentley saloons of this ilk, the Arnage offers a huge amount of car for relatively little upfront outlay. This will quickly be overshadowed by repair costs if you go for one of the rougher examples however, so it often pays to be thorough with your check and buy the best example you can find. 
 
Prices start from around £15,000 for the high-mileage and older models – seemingly a huge bargain – with the better-presented examples fetching closer to £30,000. As production ran right through to 2010, there are still a number of cars offered for somewhere north of the £65,000 mark.
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Last updated: 1st Sep 2016
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Bentley Arnage cars for sale

12 Search results
Bentley Arnage
18994 59995 GBP
  • BENTLEY ARNAGE 6.8 RED LABEL 4d AUTO 401 BHP

    £34,990 £34,990

    Features For more info on this vehicle call our showroom on 01708 687670 This car has covered 10250 miles, is a 1 owner vehicle and is Adjustable Steering Column/Wheel - Memory Rake/Reach, Air Bag Driver, Air Bag Passenger, Air-Conditioning - Unspecified, Alarm - Perimetric/Volumetric, Alloy Wheels - 18in, Anti-Lock Brakes, Central Door Locking - Remote, Climate Control, Computer - Unspecified, Cruise Control, Deadlocks, Electric Windows - Front, Immobiliser, Mirrors External - Electric Folding, Mirrors Internal - Automatic Dipping Rear View, Power-Assisted Steering, Satellite Navigation, Seat Lumbar Support - Driver/Passenger, Seating Capacity - Five Seats, Traction Control System Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the above information but errors may occur. Please check with a salesperson.

    • Year: 2000
    • Mileage: 10250 mi
    For sale
    Austin Owen
    01708 687670 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
  • Bentley ARNAGE

    £27,989 £27,989

    Duo Tone French Navy / Magnolia Top Roll. Comprehensive Bentley Service History with 14 Bentley Stamps inc Last One in March 17. Spec Inc Diamond Fluted Leather Seats, Sat Nav, Phone Prep, Cruise Control, Multi CD, Park Distance Control, Rear Quarter Companion Mirror, Lambs Wool Overrugs, Aluminium Trim, Dark Burr Walnut Trim, Veneer Cruise Surround, Veneer Waistrails, Folding Mirrors, Black Label Bentley Badges and 19" Split Rim Alloys. www.imperials.co.uk ------ Please call us to Confirm which of our 3 Essex Showrooms your desired vehicle is located at before travelling to see us, Everyone of Our Cars Goes Through Our In House Work Shop Prior to Sale by Our Fully Qualified and Experienced Technicians - Buy with Confidence, For up to 20 images of this vehicle and an Instant Finance Quote please view www.imperials.co.uk, For Out of Office Hours Enquiries please call Tony 07956 564440 and he will be happy to help, We are also good buyers of all prestige, Sports and 4x4 vehicles so why not give us a call for a price on yours, Please Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter, Thank You, www.imperials.co.uk

    • Year: 2002
    • Mileage: 30000 mi
    For sale
  • Bentley Arnage

    £32,990 £32,990

    Variant name:R ,Derivative:MK1 ,Variant: 2004 Bentley Arnage 6.8 R Auto Luxury 4 Door PRISTINE EXAMPLE MAINTAINED BY BENTLEY & BENTLEY SPECIALISTS THROUGHOUT ITS LIFE , BLUE METALLIC WITH CREAM LEATHER SPEC INCLUDES SAT NAV, 19" ALLOY WHEELS, FRONT & REAR HEATED SEATS, ELECTRIC MEMORY SEAYS, AUTOMATIC LIGHTS, WALNUT INTERIOR INLAYS This is a fantastic opportunity to become the proud owner of this pristine example 2004 model Bentley Arnage R 6.8 Litre Automatic 4 door saloon which has been fully maintained and cared for to the highest of standards by Bentley and Bentley Specialists throughout its life and finished in blue metallic with contrasting cream leather upholstery which is the perfect colour combination , no expense spared on this vehicles specification which includes satellite navigation, 19" Alloy wheels, front & rear heated seats, electric memory seats, automatic lights, walnut interior inlays, sport mode selector, leather roof lining, cruise control, walnut rear seat picnic trays, exterior chrome line detailing, parking sensors and much more. Viewing is essential on this desirable classic luxury 4 door saloon, we are confident there is no better example available on the market ! Blue, £34,990

    • Year: 2004
    • Mileage: 67738 mi
    • Engine size: 6.8
    For sale
  • Bentley Arnage T Mulliner

    £46,995 £46,995

    Beluga Hide with Silver Stitching Piano Black Veneers Turned Aluminium Trim Electric Memory Heated Seats Cruise Control Radio CD Multiplay Navigation Privacy Glass Front & Rear Parking Distance Control Bentley Trickle Charger 19″ Split Rim Alloy Wheels Full Bentley Service History + GT Services Cheshire

    • Year: 2007
    • Mileage: 43000 mi
    For sale
  • 2001 Bentley Arnage LWB

    $39,900(£30,998.31) $39,900(£30,998.31)

    The Bentley Arnage was the epitome of class and elegance when it came out in 2000. Named after the famous corner at Lemans, the car is pays homage to Bentley’s lengthy and illustrious racing heritage. No expense was spared when building and designing the car, and it uses the finest materials and engineering in its build. Mechanically, it features a 6.75L turbo V8; pushing out an estimated 450 hp and more than 600 lb/ft of torque; higher than any other production sedan at the time. Rated with a top speed of close to 160 mph; the Arnage offers luxury and opulence while still offering real world agility and control. This 2001 Arnage Red Label is 1 of only 20 left hand drive Long Wheelbase cars . The car has been driven 47,750 miles. These were custom “built to order” cars with an MSRP approaching $275,000 in 2001; they were 10 inches longer than its standard Arnage sibling and offered the ultimate in automotive exclusivity. This is the desirable Red Label label version, featuring the venerable Rolls Royce 6.75 liter turbocharged engine. The exterior of this car is tan with body colored accents. The interior is graced with the finest hand-stitched tan leather with wool carpeting and go

    • Year: 2001
    • Mileage: 47000 mi
    For sale
  • Bentley Arnage ON SALE NOW

    £22,950 £22,950

    Bentley Arnage R presented in Silver Tempest comes with a Bentley and specialist history and the following specification; Cotswold interior with Walnut trim, two tone leather steering wheel, electric heated seats with memory, electric rear seats, dual zone climate control, radio with CD, navigation, park assist, cruise control, automatic lights, automatic dimming rear view mirror, electric exterior mirrors and 18" alloy wheels. Part exchange welcome, competitive finance available. Viewings welcome by appointment only. Body: Saloon Transmission: Automatic Mileage: 86,000 Fuel Type: Petrol Registered: 2002 (52) Doors: 4 Engine Size: 6.8 Finished in: Silver Tempest

    • Year: 2002
    • Mileage: 86000 mi
    For sale
  • 2001 MY Bentley Arnage Red Label

    £21,950 £21,950

    Finished in Peacock Blue with Barley Hide, French Navy Top Roll, Barley Knee Roll with Dark Blue Wilton Carpets and Sheepskin Over-Rugs, Burr Walnut Veneers, Parking Distance Control, Upgraded TomTom Satellite Navigation, 2001 Model Year , Full Service History.

    • Year: 2001
    • Mileage: 82000 mi
    For sale
  • BENTLEY ARNAGE T Mulliner II 2004

    £30,995 £30,995

    Beautiful Facelift model Bentley Arnage T Mulliner II.;;Finished in dark Metallic Sapphire blue with Blue/ Cream diamond quilted leather and Walnut trim.;Covered 58000 miles from new with a full Bentley Main agent service history record consisting of:;Bentley Jack Barclay @ 000046 miles;Bentley Jack Barclay @ 000891 miles;Bentley Jack Barclay @ 008984 miles;Bentley Jack Barclay @ 011861 miles;Bentley Essex @ 18675 miles;Bentley Birmingham @ 20181 miles;Bentley Kent @ 29503 miles;Bentley Harwoods @ 25018 miles;Bentley Harwoods @ 43754 miles;Bentley Harwoods @ 51807 miles at a cost of GBP 4565.32 where the car had a major service including New front and rear discs +pads .;;This stunning piece of craftsmanship was spec'd with the highest amount of spec possible including. Satellite Navigation, Parking sensors front and rear, Electric heated memory front seats with lumbar adjustment, Heated electric rear seats with lumbar adjustment, Auto Xenon headlights, Cruise control, Electric adjustable steering Colum, Cd player, Push button start, Climate control; with A/C, Electric sliding/ tilt sunroof, Soft close boot lid, Bentley Umbrellas x2, Bentley emblem to wood facia, Jewel Fuel filler cap, Bentley embossed seats, 19" Mulliner split rims, Quad Exhaust pipes.;Presented in beautiful condition inside and out this really is value for money with new price in excess if GBP 185,000. Bought previously in March 2016 from Bentley Harwood. Supplied with all manuals, 2 keys and a 6 month Premium warranty.;

    • Mileage: 57000 mi
    • Engine size: 6.75
    For sale
  • BENTLEY ARNAGE GREEN LABLE 4.4 V8 2000

    £18,994 £18,994

    NOW SOLD SIMILAR CARS REQUIRED FOR STOCK ;;We are keen buyers of all Bentley arnage models ;We can respond quickly and with cleared funds to your needs;Cars can usually be collected within 2 - 3 days;finance and loan agreements settled.;tt/chaps bank transfer/bankers draft/or GBP GBP GBP GBP GBP GBP payments;therfore we are always worth considering for a quick trade sale;You wont find a quicker, more friendly, pressure free way of selling;Please call us or e-mail with full details including, Service history,and condition of your car for a price to buy. ;PLEASE GO TO WEB SITE FOR MORE DETAILS ;OR TEL 01603 743743 ANY TIME TO DISCUSS;FAST PAYMENT AND INSTA

    • Mileage: 53000 mi
    • Engine size: 4.398
    For sale
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