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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 64950 GBP
  • Lot 301

    Bentley Arnage

    POA POA
    Auction Date: 13 May 2017
    NO RESERVE
    • Engine size: 6750
    Auction Date: 13 May 2017
    Silverstone Auctions
    +44 (0) 1926 691 141 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
  • Bentley Arnage V8

    £21,995 £21,995

    About this Bentley Arnage V8 This 1999 Arnage Green Label is in excellent condition and benefits from a comprehensive service history. In the same ownership for the last 10 years, it has been regularly maintained during that period by Harwoods Bentley locally in Pulborough. Every invoice is present for those 10 years showing a high level of care by the fastidious owner.

    • Mileage: 65400 mi
    For sale
  • Bentley Arnage

    £53,950 £53,950

    One owner from new, this incredible car was commissioned and owned by the Tatershall-Wallers. Throughout its life to date, it has enjoyed more time taking in the sights outside Harrods, and resting in a private heated underground garage, than it has on the open road, facts reflected in the exceptionally low mileage. This car has every optional extra available from Bentley at the time of build, apart from a sunshine roof. Truly an outstanding vehicle, beautifully presented, and ready to be enjoyed.

    • Year: 2003
    • Mileage: 14100 mi
    • Engine size: 6.8
    For sale
  • 1999 Bentley Arnage Green Label

    $22,750(£17,792.78) $22,750(£17,792.78)

    1999 Bentley Arnage Green Label 1999 Bentley Arnage Green Label with 57,000 miles on the odometer in elegant fountain blue over cinder and ochre leather interior. Clean inside and out with power windows, power and heated seats, embroidered head rests, power sunroof, all accentuated with well-kept wood and veneer. Mechanically sound. For $22,750 If you have any additional questions Please call 310-975-0272 or email with any questions! We also welcome all international buyers. We can help with shipping quotes and arrangements.

    • Year: 1999
    • Mileage: 57000 mi
    For sale
  • BENTLEY ARNAGE 6.8 T 4dr Saloon 51-2001 2001

    £21,995 £21,995

    Stunning Looking Car,Ex Bentley Press Car So Loads Of Extras,Full Bentley Service History,including Recent New Gearbox,and Both Head Gaskets Changed, Upgrades - 2 Bentley Umbrellas Fitted to Luggage Compartment, Carpet and Lambswool Rug Colour Matched to Spec, GPS Navigation System, GSM Cellular Telephone, D-Post Marque Badges, Five 5 Spoke Sports Option Alloy Wheels, Audible Reversing Aid, Embroidered Emblems to all Head Restraints, 12 months MOT, Full dealership history, Excellent bodywork, Grey Full leather interior - Excellent Condition, Tyre condition Excellent, Standard Features - Air-Conditioning, Seats Heated (Driver/Passenger), Alarm, Computer, Electric Windows (Front/Rear). Metallic Blue, *Private Plate Not Included*, GBP 21,995

    • Mileage: 107000 mi
    • Engine size: 6.75
    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 T 2002

    £29,450 £29,450

    Simply Beautiful 2002 52 Bentley Arnage T Mulliner. Finished in rare Morrocan Blue metallic with Deep Blue Diamond Quilted leather stitched in silver, Walnut trim with Aluminium inserts. Covered only 41000 miles from new with a full Bentley main agent service record with the last service at 39379 miles at a cost of GBP 4047.02. 12 months mot. This beautiful example of a flagship Bentley would have cost new just shy of GBP 200,000. Being one of the last hand crafted Bentley's the attention to detail is exquisite and really makes the Arnage feel in a class of its own. Sat alight Navigation with remote, Heated seats, Electric memory seats with lumbar (front), electric reclining rear seats, Auto Xenon headlights, soft close bootlid, Diamond grooved door handles and door locks, 6 CD changer, 19" T Split rim alloy wheels, privacy glass, A/C, Push button start, Parking sensors front and rear, cruise control, electric steering adjustment, electric ajust/ folding mirrors, Dimond Quilted seats and door panels embossed with the Bentley logo. A true piece of craftsmanship in every way.

    • Mileage: 41000 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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