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Bentley Arnage: The Next Big Thing

Often called the last ‘proper’ Bentley, the Arnage is now available from just £15,000

The Bentley Arnage is admittedly a long way from being the sort of sharp-edged driving weapon that usually appears on our pages – but many believe it to be the last ‘proper’ Bentley before the more mass-produced Continental GT democratised the marque and diluted its status as the carriage of choice for (slightly) sporting gentlemen.

Now, we’ve all seen how affordable old-but-not-really-classic examples of the Winged B’s products have become, with cars such as the Brooklands (the old four-door, not the hefty, limited-production coupe) falling to rock bottom, and Turbo Rs doing likewise. As an example, a perfectly decent-looking 1989 Turbo R with wads of service history changed hands at a Barons auction in for a premium-inclusive £3300. In anyone’s book, that’s ridiculously cheap.

So what about the Bentley Arnage? Despite production having spanned 11 years, from 1998 to 2009, the Arnage is still an outdated machine regardless of when it was built. The early, BMW-engined cars (later called ‘Green Label’), with a 349bhp 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8, are clearly a more practical proposition for regular (if not daily) use than the ‘Red Label’ versions and others with the Turbo R-derived 6.75-litre V8 – but if you want a post-2000 car, then there is no choice.

Aside from the run-out ‘Final Series’ of 150, the most desirable are the late, twin-turbo ‘R’ and ‘T’, which deliver an exhilarating 450-odd horsepower and endow the mighty behemoth – kerb weight about 2600kg – with a top speed of 170mph and unfeasibly rapid acceleration. Needless to say, the interior is better appointed than the above-average domestic sitting room and, despite its age, the Arnage still reeks of effortless superiority.

All of which makes it a tempting buy – especially at an entry-level price of around £25,000 for a genuine, well-maintained one. We’ll discuss the running costs another time…

Find the perfect Bentley Arnage for sale in our classifieds

Or consider…

Rolls-Royce Seraph
Rolls’s version of the Arnage, powered by a 5.4-litre BMW V12. Rarer, less desirable, less sporting and not nearly so raffish. Now from around £30k.

Bentley Turbo R
As stated above, they are now exceedingly good value. 6.75-litre turbo V8 produces 320bhp in the R, or 400bhp in the rare Turbo RT of 1997-98.

Chrysler 300C
The poor man’s Bentley, or just a more practical daily car? Look out for the 5.7 V8, with prices around £7-8k.

Words: Simon de Burton/evo magazine

Bentley Arnage Classifieds

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