Spy shots: Grand Bentley Arnage replacement

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New ‘Grand’ Bentley will make its debut at next month’s Pebble Beach Concours D’ Elegance in Monterey

New ‘Grand’ Bentley will make its debut at next month’s Pebble Beach Concours D’ Elegance in Monterey

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Today's Arnage is showing its age against modern ultra-luxury rivals like the Rolls Royce Phantom and Maybach saloons, but testing of a new model is well underway. Despite the head start of its rivals, Bentley is planning to pause almost a full year from this September before going into production of its next-gen, up-scale Arnage replacement, which has been partially revealed in teaser form, and is also confirmed for an unveiling at the 2009 Pebble Beach Concours D’ Elegance in Monterey, California this August.

The all-new model is expected to be more expensive than the current Arnage, and some sources speculate the car might be pitched at a higher position. This would make it a direct challenger to the Rolls-Royce Phantom, at a time when a new Rolls-Royce Ghost is preparing to take on the Bentley Continental Flying Spur.

A spokesman would only confirm that "the price will reflect the exclusivity and positioning of this all-new model," and that the name of the vehicle will be announced at its unveiling this summer. Expect to see the car debut at Augusts’ Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

Under the code name “Project Kimberly”, the new model will be based off a heavily revised version of Audi’s modular platform used for a host of models ranging from the A4 sedan up to the next A8 flagship. However, the Bentley will feature its own unique V8 powertrain with drive sent to the rear wheels via ZF’s new 8-speed automatic. It's likely the new V8 will feature some form of forced induction, but whether it will be supercharged, twin-turbocharged or something similar remains uncertain. Peak output is expected to rate around the 550hp and 737lb-ft of torque mark.

There were rumors Bentley may introduce a new diesel engine in its Arnage replacement but the eventual engine option is most likely to be a petrol unit with E85 capability. The car is also expected to make heavy use of aluminum in its construction to keep weight and emissions down.

A high-performance replacement for the Arnage T is also in the works, but don’t expect it to feature the Bugatti Veyron’s W16 engine as previously rumored. Expect Bentley's strategy with the Arnage - in terms of parts-sharing, at least - to follow along the same premises as it has already outlined for the next-gen Continental.
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Comments (17)
  1. it's a shame, I've like to see these big boats that sell for huge sums of money to go the route of the lightning or fisker: hybrid, and more electric than mechanical.

    what in gods name are you getting for this sum of money but a road going battle ship anyways? eats up a bunch of gas, needs 3 spotters in order to park, needs a tug boat if it breaks down, and is designed for an operating life of 40 years.

    I know people in this category arent exactly concerned with "bang for the buck" but if i were spending this much money on a car that ISNT intended to give me whiplash, then I'd expect more from the drive train than just "heres a massive engine to push your massive car".

    wasn't bentley the one that said they would reduce their emissions by 40% or something stupid like that? huge weight reductions, more efficient engines.. etc.

    THIS is where the technology of the future should be coming from. these guys. dont sell me a 300k car that has a hood ornament that retracts. give me something useful.

    dont sell me on an ultra smooth and quiet V12. Electric drive will be INFINITELY quieter AND smoother.

  2. You're right Bentley did say they would cut emmisions and get like 45mpg or something by 2012....off on the right track then.

    It will be good to move away from the 6.75 V8 though that drinks fuel for breakfast,,,wouldn't be suprised to see the GT's engine in this although with more torques and less speed

  3. I don't think people who are in the market for a Bentley cares about fuel economy or cost at all, otherwise they've gone and bought a hybrid. Bentley has always being excessive. Huge, heavy, big engined, powerful... etc. Buagtti himself one said Bentley is the fastest lorry in the world

  4. alan; I can assure you that if I had this kind of money, I'd have to shoot myself for wasting so much money on such an ordinary (and ugly) car.

    its not about fuel economy or cost. its about value and technology, and actually getting what you pay for. there's no more technology in one of these than there is in a ford taurus. just an extra tonne of engine and sheet metal. so whats the point?

    everyone says "theyre smooth and luxurious"... sure... thats why i bring up the plug in gasoline electric hybrid from fisker. its a huge coach, just like this,.. but it looks HOT, and it goes 100 miles on a single charge, before it even turns on the motor. whats more luxurious than a car that has no engine making noise and vibrations?


  5. Well I've always been giving the Arnage the benefit of the doubt, but after seeing one on the road yesterday... well.. hahahahahaa - it looks like a freakin shoebox, I mean comethehellon, seriously? thats what people are paying for? a shoebox with a wood interior? I seriously doubt that its any more comfortable then a 7 Series or an S Cass so I guess all their paying for is a emblem on the front and the back...


  6. Chris, i beg to differ though. Part of the appeal of Bentley surely must be some sportiness and some engine noise. Engine noise are very meticulously tuned these days. If luxury buyers just want quietness, then they can always get a Lexus LS460. Instead, they want a special experience, and a brand full of heritage

  7. I don't know.. its all rediculous to me. for that price you could encourage technological advancement, and fit a stellar custom audio setup that will make you think there's a low rumbly engine up front.

    see my harsh criticism for these guys is well founded: i want to see them survive through the next 40 years. a brand like this where people would pay that much just to know it was made by a certain company... well thats the situation that you have to take advantage of.

    it's like my suggestions for bugatti's next model. make it a marvel of engineering at the FUNDIMENTAL LEVEL. I dont want a V10 monster on a barge, even if it is done impeccably. I'm sure it's impressive. but what else in this world will make you (and everyone around you) go "wow" than a car that moves unlike any other car.

  8. You have all missed the point! There is ZERO sense of occasion in a Lexus or electric car. Quiet and no noise = dull and boring! BMW once said it could build a silent car , no problem , but people want to hear turbines , sounds , engineering excellence. Bentley is pursuing both hybrid and renewable fuel technology however the planet is in danger from CHEAP cars NOT Expensive ones! The amount of Bentley cars on the road is negligible compared to the thousands and thousands of disposable Hondas and Toyotas and what about the hundreds of thousands of parts miles delivering to these so called "hybrid" and "green" Manufacturers. Bentley produce in a small factory in England , not across vast sites on EVERY continent and their production volumes peak in the second year unlike others that rise and rise and rise.GTC 40% Less this year, GT 35% Less.

    Think a bit more boys!!

  9. you're right chris, you dont know and you dont get it. So go hug another tree.

  10. I have something to tell you FROM EXPERIENCE!!! I'm not here to brag about my family's wealth (which, by the way, goes back 9 generations), I'm here to tell you why this car is so apealing.
    - TRADITION. Bentley is more less the only auto maker that has stayed true to its original purpose (they even curved the grill of the Phantom Coupe). The V8 6.75 liter engine the Arnage uses has been used by Bentleys and Rolls-Royces for the las 50 years. You can simply feel that as soon as you go in.
    - You DO NOT get the same comfort as in the 7 series or S-Class.
    - It IS NOT ugly. It DOES NOT resemble a shoe box. It has the most elegant exterior and most comfortable interior of all cars.
    - Most of its competitors and the class below are the status symbols of new money, criminals and pitifull stars (there are more hip-hop moguls driving Rolls-Royces then there are aristocrats).
    - As far as fuel economy and polution are conserned, it is not the best, but it's not a car you drive every day. My father usualy drives a Lexus LS460h (the Bentley is as quiet and smoother) and I drive a Mini Cooper. The Bentleys we have have only been driven a couple thousand miles (2007 Arnage-12.000miles, 2003 Arnage 28.000 miles and 2006 Continental GT- 8000miles, Brooklands- haven't been delivered yet but will be driven once a month). It's just a car to show everyone that you are a true gentleman with inpecable taste.
    I do not undermind new technology, but good old-fashioned worksmanship deserves a lot of respect. You cannot compare Fisker to Bentley. Its like saying that Kosovo or South Aphasia are historically more significent than England.
    Hope this changes your view of the Bentley Arnage.

  11. Comparing a Bentley to a 7 series or S-class is pointless - yes they are all large 4 door saloons but thats pretty much where the story ends.

    To me BMW and Merc are missing 1 important thing SOUL they are put together in factories in a mass produced way that is clinical and totally devoid of any real feeling. Whereas Bentleys are built in small numbers by comparison by hand by craftsmen that are probably 3rd or 4th generation of the same family. I mean it takes longer to make just the dashboard for the old Arnarge T than it does to put together a normal 5 door family runabout such as a Focus or golf.

    YES in the real world a bentley is not what you could call cheap, enbironmentally friendly or even small but THATS THE WHOLE POINT. Its manufacturers such as bentley that help to provide the antithesis to the identikit clone eurobox cars that litter roads today by sticking 2 fingers up at the PC nanny state brigade

    Give me 2 hours in a bentley thrashing it round a track or a country lane over the monotony of driving a repmobile up and down a motorway anytime. And as a bentley is so large in event of an accident there is always at least 10 feet between the collision and the passengers.

  12. True old money:
    I get your point, but this is exactly the reason England is not the most powerful country in the world anymore. They always live in the past with traditions and old style. I mean a Queen in the 21st Century?? come on British!! wake up and smell the new milenium. For Tradition, exclusivity, anticuados (same engine for 50 years) no wonder why all British car brands are owned by other countries!!! The Kings of all automobiles (except trucks and SUVs) are the Germans. I'll take anyday an S-class AMG or an Audi S8 over those borring, ugly, anticuado phantom or Arnage!! Impecable taste?? Even the VW CC is pretier than the Arnage!! This cars are only impressive because there are really a few of them, but it doesn't mean they are beautiful. True real beauty comes from the naked eye not with the hubble telescope. If you put a VW CC, an A8, Mase Quatroporte, S-class, 7 series, next to the Arnage removing their badges, I can guarantee you that the avg Joe will choose the Arnage the least beautiful.
    You know it, we know it. VW knows it, thats why the Continetal is selling well. It has a modern feel/looks and half the price of the Arnage .What do you think is the Continental?? It's a Volkswagen pure and simple!!(a Phaeton by the way) A VOLKSWAGEN!! the same make that builds the Golf. A Conti has what kind of engine??? a W12 engine?? designed by who?? Ohh yeah the same company that builds the Polo. Even the article says the next arnage will have lots of tools from VW to choose from!!!

    Rich people have to waist money somehow.All these makes are is just selling status and symbolism not technology nor efficiency. This brands or makes exist only for reach people to spend their money in something the average Joe can't have. It could be a Box with 6 wheels and candles as headlights and rich people will say "OMG thats tradition and classic beauty" Instead of spending $350K on a car buy your self a German luxury car for $95K and give the rest of the money to starving countries.
    Look at Maybach is nothing more than a fancier S-class!!! (ok, it has a cooler and reclinable back seat, i guess is worth the $250K extra over the Benz) The Phantom has a BMW engine under the hood. Look at the Lambo Gallardo!! Have you seen the interior?? Has the gauges of an A8 and the navi/radio of the A4!!
    Even the $1.2 Million Bugatti Veyron has a VW engine under its hood.(four VW's 4 cyl turbo engines put together)
    In the end what happens?? Just like a regular car, they all dent the same, their carpets wear the same, the leather cracks the same, they all atrack dust the same, they all rust the same, their tires go flat the same, you get the point!!
    Nothing special a good German or Japanese car won't do for hundred of thousands less!!

    The real genoius are the commercial or everyday brands!! Who is behind Lexus?? Toyota!!!! Who is behind Maybach? MB!! who is behind Rolls Royce?? BMW!! Who is behind Infiniti?? Nissan!!!
    Who is behind Cadillac and Hummer?? GM or Chevy!!! Who is behind Lambo ?? Audi which is backed by VW!!!
    Even the king of sports cars Porsche borrows tech from VW!! Just look at the Cayenne!! it's a Touareg pure and simple!! Look at the VW Concept BlueSport!!! Audi and Porsche (yes Porsche) want to borrow the car to make their own versions!! a so called R4 and a roadster to be fitted under the Boxster!!

    I think when it comes to durability and realibity no one is better than Honda and Toyota, but in terms of driving enjoyement and tech nobody beats the Germans, especially VW.
    Read the article for the next Passat, it will be filled with high-tech gasgets that will give BMW, MB even its own Audi brand some headaches.

  13. You guys just dont get Bentley but if you want the latest save the planet high tech I'm a screaming eco friendly liberal mobile then go buy a Mercedes!!! Heck Al Gore your superior being of a leader drives one...

    Four years ago I had the pleasure of seeing/visiting Jay Leno's collection with he himself giving me the "full on" tour, why is this relevant? Simple! in his garage are some steam cars ranging from the early first attempts to the last version consisting of the latest technology in steam before its eventual death in the automobile. I forget the name of the lastet and greatest but I do remember what was so great. You could get in and drive it straight away without having to wait for the main boiler to come up to temperature. A major step forward in steam. Yes steam was on the way out, gas was in but yet here was a company launching the latest and greatest in a soon to be defunct technology.

    So Bentley ultimately is up to the same game as mentioned above and there is nothing wrong with that and I'm sure they will sell all that they build and then some. Also I strongly suspect that in an effort to stay in business they will also build something that runs on "humming bird farts" (Gus 2008) too!!!!

  14. mywheels,

    The luxury steam car Jay has is a Doble . There is also one on display at the Nethercut Museum in Sylmar,Ca .

  15. Doesn't Jay also have both a Stanley Steamer and White steam car, the two main competitors in this category? Cool stuff indeed (I love vintage "weird" cars!)
    Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing this new Bentley, chances are I'll like it better than the Rolls. I've always liked the old Arnage, dated as it may be- one of the last true classics IMO.

  16. Mike,

    Though the White and Stanley were competitors in the first decade of the 20th century, I think White stopped producing steam cars in the early teens.

    By the time the Doble emerged in the 1920s , Stanley was seriously outdated , closing up shop in 1924.

  17. The lower grille is like the one on the 2009MY Flying Spur and it looks awful, as do the new headlights. Does it not remind anyone of a GEELY (fake) Rolls-Royce from China? The teaser shots look great and these reveal/scoop pics reveal it to be ugly. Poor show Bentley. I used to be a fan especially the 2004 GT and 2008 Brooklands.

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