Bentley Arnage T Given that new Bentleys arrive with all the frequency of Halley Comet, 2002 is going to be something of a bumper year for the Crewe firm.
Not only will it unveil the long awaited MSB (Mid Size Bent ley) and GT Coupe, but fans of the Arnage are also in for a treat with a completely re engineered black and purple oakley sunglasses version of the luxury saloon. Dubbed the Arnage T, the vehicle represents the first fruit of Volkswagen labour three years after the German firm assumed control of the legendary British car maker. Given that new Bentleys arrive with all the frequency of Halley's Comet, 2002 is going to be something of a bumper year for the Crewe firm. Not only will it unveil the long awaited MSB (Mid Size Bentley) and GT Coupe, but fans of the Arnage are also in for a treat with a completely re engineered version of the luxury saloon. Dubbed the Arnage T, the vehicle represents the first fruit of Volkswagen's labour three years after the German firm assumed control of the legendary British car maker.Designed initially as a stand alone model topping the Arnage range, its heavily revised engine and running gear won't appear on the rest of the line up until much black oakleys later this year when new versions of the Red Label and long wheelbase arrive. Although the external differences over the standard Arnage are subtle, the newcomer has been extensively reworked under the skin. More than half the car is fresh while in excess of 80 per cent has been reworked. Indeed, VW claims to have put more time and money into this mid life revision than Bentley's previous owner, Vickers, spent on producing both the Rolls Royce Silver Seraph and the Arnage in the first place.So where are the big changes? Well, the first and most obvious im provement is the engine, which has gained an extra turbocharger and an additional 50bhp. Having nearly disappeared from the Bentley saloon line up completely in 1997 when the twin turbo BMW V8 powerplant was introduced, the famous 6.75 litre 'six and three quarters' V8 unit has undergone its most extensive revamp exercise to date. By using two small turbos in place of a single large one, throttle reaction times have been halved eliminating oakley store sale lag and ensuring that all 875Nm of torque arrives at only 3,250rpm. A new, more sophisticated engine management system using a fly by wire throttle has further improved fuelling, emissions and made the now standard ESP oakley design traction control system much more user friendly.The four speed auto box has also been reworked to give a quicker shift and smoother action, while the final drive ratio in the back axle has been raised to increase top speed. As a result, the T cruises at 70mph at only 1,900rpm. In terms of performance, the gains are small but significant. The 0 60mph time is only 5.5 seconds nearly half a second quicker than the Red Label. However, it's the T's maximum speed that will grab the headlines when the car hits the streets in the coming weeks. Although previous Bentley saloons have been limited to 155mph as part of a gentleman's agreement among manufacturers, the Arnage T isn't restricted and can reach 168mph. In recognition of this and the fact that the T is the most powerful car in Bentley's history, it wears the coveted Black Label badge. VW has also made the body a lot stiffer. By placing extra braces between the wheelarches, strengthening the side sills and adding another bow in the roof, torsional rigidity has been vastly improved.The knock on effect of this extra stiffness is a chassis that feels considerably tighter than before. Although the basic architecture remains the same with double wishbones at every corner, everything from the geometry to the damping rates have been reworked for a sportier drive. A rear anti roll bar is introduced for the first time, while the front one has been stiffened to improve body control and high speed stability.
As a result, the Arnage T now has a more direct feel, and responds to steering with more urgency. The standard car's tendency to run wide in bends has been ironed out, allowing drivers to hustle through corners with far more confidence, and making even the narrowest of country roads fair game. Not a bad achievement in a car that weighs 2,585kg.
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