2006 Bentley Arnage R Review
Living life in high style
For the $250,000 sticker price of the Bentley Arnage R, one could buy a loaded Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG that will run circles around the Arnage R in every way – including exclusivity – and still have enough money left over to buy a well equipped BMW 5 Series. Not only has the quality of volume production cars drastically improved, luxury cars of today are frequently technologically superior to the status cars of the ultra-luxury class. Today's modern masterpieces are loaded with laser guidance systems for parking and cruise control, massaging and cooling seats that counteract lateral cornering forces, night vision and computer based technology for everything from the audio system to suspension settings, and list goes on and on. Regardless, it seems there are still enough high rollers who can appreciate a hand-built custom carriage from Bentley and are willing to lay down the cash for the privilege of ownership despite the lack of modern conveniences.
buying a Bentley differs from buying a series production car. When laying down the kind of cash necessary to acquire an Arnage R, you pretty much get to build the car to your liking. Bentley offers 40 different paint colors plus the option of adding a two-tone scheme to your new ride. A choice of 27 interior leather options, including piping on the seats and headrests, complements any exterior color. As Bentley states in its press materials for the Arnage: “The only constraints are of imagination, and perhaps the broad bands of good taste."
While the Arnage R comes with a 400-horsepower, twin-turbocharged V8 pounding out 616 lb.-ft. of torque, buyers have the ability to step it up and opt for the Arnage T which is powered by a stronger version of the V8 delivering 450 horsepower and 645 lb.-ft. of torque. Both cars run this power through a dinosaur of a four-speed transmission. Standard for the R and RL models are six-spoke, 18-inch wheels with the option of adding 12-spoke, 19-inch wheels if you like. The 19-inch wheels are standard on the most powerful model, the Arnage T. A DVD-based satellite navigation system has been integrated into the dash of the Arnage for a cleaner look while improvements to the rear suspension are claimed to have improved handling and ride qualities.
Whatever your idea of exclusivity and luxury, the Bentley Arnage R still carries the old school charm and appeal despite lacking the new school technologies.