Vehicle Overview
Bentley's flagship Arnage sedan continues unchanged for 2008. A twin-turbo V-8 makes 450 or 500 horsepower, depending on the trim level. At well over $200,000, the Arnage carries a unique price — it's expensive but a bargain compared to the Maybach 57 or Rolls-Royce Phantom; both of those cars cost about $100,000 more.

The Arnage comes in three trim levels: base Arnage R, extended-length Arnage RL and sporty Arnage T. The Arnage T has less chrome than the regular Bentley sedan, and the seats have diamond-patterned upholstery.

The Arnage RL limousine features a 9.8-inch wheelbase extension. Most RLs are likely to be chauffeur-driven. Developed by Bentley's Mulliner organization, the RL can be configured in just about any way to suit its owner. Broad D-pillars sit behind the rear doors, a small back window is installed and passengers sit deeply recessed in the rear compartment. Interior fittings are discreet, but two 12-inch DVD screens are installed.

The Azure convertible and Brooklands coupe share components with the Arnage, though both are substantially pricier. They are listed separately in the Research section.

The Arnage T's grille receives a darker finish, while the Arnage R and RL receive chrome-finished grilles. An optional "Flying B" emblem — Bentley's iconic symbol — can sit above the grille. It's retractable, so potential thieves won't be tempted.

Bentley sedans are largely hand-built. These four-door cars are similar to the now-departed Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph, but they look slightly different and feature several unique characteristics. Buyers can choose from 40 factory body colors or specify a two-tone combination.

Arnage T sedans get a sport-tuned suspension and 19-inch alloy wheels. The minimally chromed exterior includes front fog lights. The grand-touring Arnage R has a comfort-tuned suspension, and 18-inch wheels are installed; 19-inchers are optional.

The outside mirrors feature electrochromatic glass to reduce night glare and can fold in electronically when required. A 26.4-gallon fuel tank is installed for good reason, as fuel economy isn't a Bentley benefit.

The Arnage's interior was last updated in 2005, with a new dashboard top and instruments. Secondary controls are hidden behind veneered panels. Bentley buyers can choose walnut, oak, bird's-eye maple or black lacquer interior trim to complement the myriad interior leather options. The Arnage RL receives a bottle cooler in the center rear armrest, as well as a rear backup camera.

Tucked amid all this traditional luxury are several technological treats, including a DVD-based satellite navigation system. The driver's seat automatically moves rearward to ease entry and exit, and both sides of the rear seat also move.

Under the Hood
In regular R form, Bentley's twin-turbocharged 6.8-liter V-8 develops 450 hp and 645 pounds-feet of torque. In the Arnage T, output escalates to 500 hp and a staggering 738 pounds-feet of torque. Both engines work through a new six-speed automatic transmission. Bentley says the Arnage T can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds.

Antilock brakes, traction control, an electronic stability system, and side-impact and side curtain airbags are standard.