2009 Bentley Arnage

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9 CITY / 14 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability


What Changed for 2009:
  • Minor trim and option changes
Bentley Motors has been manufacturing luxury automobiles in England for nearly a century. Founded by W.O. Bentley in 1919, the company has changed hands many times over the decades, but it has always retained its aura as an exclusive hand-built automaker for those demanding the finest upscale vehicles. Not to be branded as just a luxury marque, Bentley has also claimed victory on the racetrack with wins at Le Mans as recently as 2003. Volkswagen has owned Bentley since 1998, the same year the Bentley Arnage made its debut.

The Bentley Arnage is one of the maker's two sedans. Compared to its sibling, Bentley's Continental Flying Spur, the Arnage is much statelier in appearance as it appeals to a more traditional buyer.

Model Lineup
The 2009 Bentley Arnage is available in three different models: Arnage R, Arnage RL and Arnage T. All of the models are front-engine with standard rear-wheel drive. The 4-door sedans each offer seating for 5 (however, 4 is optimal in the plush interior). The standard-wheelbase model is the Arnage R. The Arnage RL is a stretched-wheelbase model for additional rear passenger room while the Arnage T is the performance-oriented model of the lineup, with more horsepower and upgraded handling.

All Arnage models feature rich interior appointments and a long list of standard luxury features. Supple leathers, rich woods, and generous passenger comforts surround occupants in the front and rear seats. Tri-zone climate control, full power accessories, even a bottle cooler are standard equipment. The standard audio system includes a 6-disc CD changer, Bluetooth-compatible phone connection, and a reverse camera that projects its display on the navigation screen.

Options on all Arnage models include special duo-tone paint, retractable \"Flying B\" radiator mascot, chrome accents, and upgraded wheels and tires. For extra privacy, the Bentley Arnage is available with rear compartment curtains, an electric privacy blind, a smaller rear window, and privacy glass. The Arnage is also available in an armored version.

All 2009 Bentley Arnage models feature turbocharged 8-cylinder powerplants. In 2007, Bentley upgraded the engines with improved turbochargers, and slightly more displacement, to make the powerplants more responsive. Standard in the Arnage R and Arnage RL is a twin-turbocharged, 6.8-liter V-8 engine rated at 450 hp. With 645 lb.-ft. of torque, it is strong enough to accelerate the Bentleys to 60 mph in about 5.5 seconds on towards a top speed of 168 mph, according to the maker. Standard on the Arnage R and Arnage RL is a 6-speed automatic transmission with electronic gear actuation. The performance-oriented Arnage T shares the same 6.8-liter V-8 engine, but it is tuned to 500 hp. Its torque rating of 738 lb.-ft. propels it to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, Bentley claims. It's combined with an upgraded 6-speed automatic transmission with electronic actuation and semi-automatic function. The top speed of the Arnage T is 179 mph, the automaker says. The EPA has rated the Arnage R and RL at 9 mpg city/15 mpg highway. The Arnage T earned fuel-economy ratings of 10 mpg city/14 mpg highway.

The suspension on the Arnage is independent in both the front and rear, and of a double-wishbone design. Computers control the adaptive electro-hydraulic damping system, ride height control, and automatic load leveling. The brakes are \"micro-alloy\" ventilated discs on all four corners, with standard anti-lock (ABS) control. The standard wheels on the Bentley Arnage R and RL are 18-inch painted aluminum alloy, while the Arnage T model is fitted with 19-inch wheels.

Bentley has selected the most advanced active and passive safety systems for their Arnage lineup. In addition to the ABS, all models are fitted with hydraulic brake assist, ASR traction control, an electronic stability program (ESP), and electronic brake pressure distribution. An all-steel bodyshell protects occupants, while full-sized driver and passenger frontal air bags, side-impact air bag curtains, and thorax air bags provide wraparound passive safety.

As of this writing, the Arnage has not been crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The 2009 Bentley Arnage lineup is available with a wide range of top-end technologies including audio and DVD installations, LCD television screens, and satellite navigation. The British automaker even offers an option for a programmable remote control called E-PILOT that will control the accessories. The array of electronics and upgrades are available through the services of Bentley Mulliner-a specialized personalization department that is tasked with using the finest hand-craftsmanship to \"realize the dreams of its customers.\" Through the Mulliner program, Bentley customers may choose personalized service, design and engineering of their new vehicle that is unmatched by others in the automotive industry, the company claims.


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