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First look: Final swansong for Bentley’s Arnage

Lap of luxury: Each Arnage takes six weeks to build, says Bentley.

Bentley unveils the last iteration of its Arnage sedan flagship, the Final Series

25 Sep 2008

BENTLEY has whipped the covers off what will be the final iteration of its flagship Arnage sedan: the aptly named Final Series.

Just 150 examples of the most exclusive Arnage ever will be produced, at least a couple of which have been earmarked for sale in Australia.

Bentley says the Final Series combines the performance of the Arnage T, which costs $574,000 in Australia, with the refinement of the Arnage R ($531,500), and we expect it to cost around $600,000 when landed here.

Elements of the new Brooklands coupe are also said to be present in “the grand finale for the grandest of Bentleys”.

Based at Crewe in the UK, Bentley claims the Final Series represents the culmination of 90 years of heritage, as well as the 50th anniversary of the maker’s ballistic V8, which in this guise displaces the same 6.8 litres and employs two turbochargers to extract 373kW (500hp) and no less than 1000Nm of torque.

54 center imageAs the final version of the top-shelf four-door Bentley that was released a decade ago in 1998, the Arnage Final Series will also make way for an all-new Bentley flagship developed by Volkswagen Group, which acquired the historic British brand after its launch.

Exterior additions over the R and T versions of the Arnage include two-piece 20-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, a retractable ‘Flying B’ bonnet mascot, body-coloured headlight bezels, “dark tint matrix” upper and lower grilles, ‘LeMans’ lower front wing air-vents, ‘Final Series’ front wing badging, a Bentley ‘Jewel’ fuel filler cap crafted from aluminium billet and twin exhaust outlets.

Inside, extra Arnage features include ‘Final Series’ front door tread plates, drilled alloy brake and accelerator pedals, “waistrails” with inset chrome strip and recessed Bentley marque badges (normally a Mulliner option), rear cocktail cabinet and document stowage trimmed in hide, ‘Final Series’ stainless steel flask and shot glasses, two picnic tables available in a range of premium unbleached veneers and four Bentley umbrellas with wooden handles.

Other unique Final Series features include a large-display audio head unit with Secure Digital (SD) memory card slot, removable rear centre armrest cup-holders, a hide-covered boot rail, iPod interface, rear remote control for infotainment system and a Naim for Bentley audio system comprising 1100-Watt output, 10 speakers and next-generation Digital Signal Processing (DSP).

Bentley claims to be the world’s only car-maker to offer a cabin trimmed entirely with leather hides as standard, including the headlining and steering wheel, which requires up to 16 hours of double-stitching. Some 17 hides and almost 400 separate pieces of leather are used for the upholstery, trim and headlining.

The Arnage Final Series will be available in all 42 Bentley exterior colour choices, plus 25 interior hide and three veneer choices. Six “classic” colour and trim combinations are recommended: Titan Grey (with Anthracite interior), Royal Ebony (with Beluga), Windsor Blue (with Windsor Blue), Meteor (with Imperial Blue), Burnt Oak (with Burnt Oak) and Black Velvet (with Burgundy).

The Final Series sprints to 100km/h in the same claimed 5.5 seconds as its Arnage siblings. Among the few mechanical options is a carbon/silicon carbide braking system comprising 420 x 40mm front and 356 x 28mm rear cross-drilled brake discs, claimed to be the largest fitted to any production car available. Combined with eight-piston callipers, they are said to save 8kg in unsprung weight.

“For 10 years, Arnage has enjoyed extraordinary success at the pinnacle of the luxury saloon market,” said Bentley chairman and chief executive, Dr Franz-Josef Paefgen. “The Final Series is a celebration of the Arnage era as Bentley prepares for the next generation of its flagship model.”

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