|Bentley Arnage T|
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Bentley Motors continues the intensive development of its flagship Arnage range with the introduction of a major programme of powertrain and chassis enhancements for the 2007 Model Year. The Arnage's renowned 6.75-litre V8 engine now develops up to 500bhp and is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission benefiting performance, driving dynamics and refinement. The powertrain changes are complemented by subtle exterior, interior and under-bonnet design cues. Key to this performance increase is the most powerful version of Bentley's legendary V8 engine ever built at the company's headquarters in Crewe, England. In the performance-oriented Arnage T model, the revised twin-Turbocharged V8 engine produces a staggering 500bhp and 1000Nm of torque - an 11percent increase in power and a 14 percent increase in torque over the outgoing model. Twinned with the latest six-speed ZF automatic transmission, which uses state-of-the-art computer management, performance and refinement are optimised at all speeds. In the Arnage R and RL models the new engine is boosted from 400 to 450bhp, while torque climbs from 835 to 875Nm.
Bentley's 6.75-litre V8 engine is the centrepiece of the 2007 Model Year Arnage development programme. This remarkable engine, the fundamental design of which has served Bentley models proudly for nearly five decades, has been extensively re-engineered to provide, in Arnage T specification, 500bhp and 1000Nm of torque - figures that ensure that the legendary Bentley wave of torque is even more astonishing than before. Top speed of the Arnage T has risen from 168mph/270km/h to 179mph/288km/h, while the 450bhp Arnage R and RL's maximum speed increases by 13mph/21km/h to 168mph/270km/h. When the first V8 engine was built in the 1950s, the design brief unwittingly benefited later generations of Bentley engineers. It was a very forward thinking design with an all-aluminium construction, a five main-bearing crankshaft, and a well-supported camshaft. The steps taken then laid the foundations for the longevity of the engine.
That first 6.25-litre engine produced around 200 horsepower - the new 2007 Model Year 6.75-litre V8 has more than twice that output, with 500bhp and 1000Nm of torque for the Arnage T. It was the introduction of Turbocharging and intercooling in the early 1980s that saw step-change increases in the V8's performance, and the latest engine programme is no different. Two new low-inertia Turbochargers operate with far greater efficiency at lower engine speeds - they reach maximum turbine speed in half the time of the previous unit - thereby ensuring significantly reduced Turbo lag and that prodigious wave of torque at any revs. Furthermore, a reprofiled camshaft with an all-new roller tappet system provides revised valve timing and substantially improved refinement. These changes also deliver for increased power, enhanced durability and ensure compliance with European EU IV and US LEV II standards. Although the 2007MY 6.75-litre engine produces around 300 horsepower more than its 1959 predecessor, its fuel consumption is only 60 percent of the original and thanks to its advanced Fuel Injection and exhaust controls, its emissions output is an incredible 99 percent lower than Bentley's first V8.
Such an impressive increase in power and torque is, however, of little benefit unless the powertrain is capable of delivering it to the driven wheels. For this reason Bentley's engineering team opted to introduce the latest six-speed ZF automatic transmission to the Arnage range. A sophisticated electronic management system plays a major role in providing fast yet smooth gearshifts regardless of how the car is being driven. Previously the Arnage's engine and transmission were governed by independent electronic systems; in the 2007 Model Year, an uprated Bosch computer-controlled management system ensures that both parts work as a single unit to produce a supremely refined yet highly responsive drivetrain.
Another important development for the 2007 Model Year Arnage range is the separation of the sports suspension and sports gearbox settings, allowing the driver to select their preference for each system independently - via a 'Sport' button on the dashboard for the suspension and by positioning the gearlever for the transmission's Sport mode. A comprehensive chassis tuning programme was instigated alongside the powertrain updates to ensure the Arnage's chassis comfortably handles the additional performance. Refinements to the ESP logic system allow more spirited handling without any reduction in stability or safety. The Traction Control system is extensively recalibrated with the aim of avoiding unnecessary reduction in engine torque. The ESP system now monitors the car's overall stability rather than simply loss of grip to the wheels. This reduces the amount of intervention required and restores power earlier and more progressively, allowing the power of the engine to be fully exploited.
Following the detailed design updates made to the 2005 Model Year Arnage, the latest models receive further exterior styling changes. The performance intent of the Arnage T is underlined by the addition of a new dark finish to its front radiator and bumper grilles. A standardised bright chrome finish is applied to the R and RL grilles while Bentley 'B' badges have been applied to the D-pillars on all models. To highlight the superb feat of engineering beneath the Arnage's bonnet, a newly styled engine bay leaves no doubt as to the potency of the car. A black crackle finish has been applied to the Arnage T's inlet manifold, while every model displays an embossed Bentley logo on the Turbocharger plenum chambers and new '63/4 LITRE TWIN Turbo' engine plaques.
Additional optional extras include a 19-inch six-spoke disc wheel for the R and RL models, and 19-inch five-spoke 'Blade' sports wheel for the Arnage T. Also available across the range is the famous winged 'B' mascot, which saw a welcome return this year on the Diamond Series Arnage. The iconic mascot - which can retract neatly into the grille surround - was originally designed by motoring artist F. Gordon Crosby and first used on the 1930 Bentley 8 Litre. Interior design updates include a new hide-trimmed gearlever, chrome gearlever bezel, and new Thin Film Technology driver information panel to display more comprehensive and clearly accessible information. The Arnage RL model receives additional standard specification including a rear centre armrest bottle cooler, veneered rear centre cushion box, rear rSAP Bluetooth master telephone system and reversing camera (US, EU, Australia and New Zealand markets only).
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|Article||Image gallery (11)||Specifications|