The Continental GT coupe may be the spotlight-stealing star of the showroom, but Bentley also has found time to give some attention to its Arnage sedan.
An obvious change is that the 2005 model sheds the rectangular headlamps in favor of classic double round xenons, making the car look more closely related to the coupe. The new cosmetic package also includes redesigned bumpers, new wheels, a modified grille, and a more contoured hood. Inside, we find fresh switchgear, a DVD-based navigation system, and more legible instruments.
The most significant engineering update is a revised rear suspension. By repositioning the lower mounting points of the rear dampers from the hub carrier to the lower control arm; recalibrating the springs, dampers, and bushings; and introducing newly developed Pirelli P Zero tires, the engineers have greatly improved ride comfort for the back-seat passengers. The upgraded suspension not only responds more smoothly to bumps and potholes, but it also enhances grip, traction, and stability.
Unchanged is the massively torquey twin-turbo, 6.8-liter V-8, which musters 400 horsepower in the Arnage R and 50 more in the T model. The latter whistles from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and wafts on to a top speed of 168 mph.
Six years after the debut of the underwhelming Green Label version masterminded by BMW, the Arnage finally has evolved into a desirable automobile. Good thing, since number one Bentley boy Franz-Josef Paefgen says it won't be replaced anytime soon. "Our cars typically have long cycles that last between ten and eighteen years," notes Paefgen. "That's why we shall continue to update this model with diligence and devotion."