Bentley Spotting... by Jordan Devine After a decade of production the sun has begun to set on the Bentley Arnage as it is now in its 'Final Series'. Now to some Bentley Arnage spotting. The Bentley Arnage was born on the 4th April 1998 and weighed in with a 4.4-litre V8 engine sourced from BMW and tuned by Cosworth. Its twin sister the Rolls Royce Silver Seraph weighed in with a 5.4L V12 also from BMW. A year went by then came the opportunistic separation of the children by the parent company as its assets were divided. And it was not just sending them off to boarding school. The new custodians of the children were a bit bitter amongst themselves, which resulted in the Silver Seraph being put down. The Arnage was the good boy and inherited the family heirloom of the 6.75-litre V8 engine, having been constantly improved since its introduction in the S3. The Arnage with the heirloom engine was titled the Red Label and the Arnage without the inheritance was titled the Green Label. Everyone left the Green Label alone and it was forgotten. The conclusion of this Final Series will mark the end of the direct association with a Rolls Royce car for the forseeable future. The Rolls Royce Silver Seraph was short lived, but with it the Bentley Arnage still satisfies the common distinction that a Bentley is a sporting mans Rolls Royce with a different grill and mascot and is designed to be driven, not driven in. This end is significant as the distinction dates back to the first ever complete car made by Rolls Royce and Bentley Motors being the standard steel body model of the the Bentley Mark VI and the Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn. The Bantley Arnage RL 728. Note the centre pillar extension Times change, but if history is repeated the Arnage/Silver Seraph body shape will stay on for a while in the form of the Bentley Azure, as did the T Series/Silver Shadow with the Continential/Corniche drop head coupe. The Arnage body shape will probably disappear from the Bentley range when Crewe drops The Bentley Arnage RL 250. The 250 denotes the car has been lengthened by 250mm the head off the coupe version of the Arnage 6 replacement. We'll see in due course.
Visually the Red Label and Green Label Arnages are distinguished literally by red or green flying B badges. These models also had orange indicator lenses to the front and 16" wheels. The next major change to the family came two years later, when the Green Label was put out to pasture and there was an introduction of the Series Two. The Arnage Red Label became just the R and two other brothers were born. One brother had more length to it so was titled the Arnage RL and the other had extra power and torque and was titled the Arnage T. The Series Two cars had quite a number of styling changes. Structually it was stiffened and with different suspension, and visually they had different bumper bars, side sills, wing vents and the wheels had grown up to 19". The front wing vents were also varied between models as was the interior. The Bentley Arnage RL 450 It is not known what the replacement Arnage will be called, but it will definitely not have a Rolls Royce 'Silver Some- There is no standard Bentley Arnage RL as each is sent to Bentley Mulliner to be customised to The Bentley Arnage RL 450 'HR' - note the high roof reminiscent of the the owners requirements. Queen's Bentley. HR designation stands for High Roof However, the lengthened Arnage (the RL) also has a couple of cousins that are thing' as a quiet sister. less well known. They are referred to by the length of their extension compared to the standard Bentley Arnage R. The Arnage RL 250, which is generally referred to as the Arnage RL, is extended by 250mm. Then there is the Arnage RL 450, extended by 450mm and finally the Arnage RL 728, you guessed it, extended by 728mm. There is also a 'High Roof' option available as seen in the photo below. The Arnage RL 250 is extended only in the rear doors by 250mm, and the Arnage RL 728 is extended in the rear door as well as an added centre piece between the doors as pictured on the previous page. The Bentley Arnage RL 450 however is different.The 450 is extended in the rear door by 250mm, but also in the rear D pillar by 200mm. It certainly is one impressive limousine in an unusually understated way. The car is massive, yet in complete proportion. It provides enormous interior space, yet manages to avoid the typical American styled 'streched on a rack' look to it. Jordan Devine 7