(from Bentley Press Release)
Reinforcing its position as the only manufacturer to offer genuine coach
built commissions, and following a year of significant growth, Bentley
Mulliner is proud to reveal a new Arnage Limousine, built in direct
response to the wishes of Bentley customers around the world.
Unlike cars such as the State Limousine or
Bentley's popular high roof Arnage which are intended to present their
occupants for ceremonial purposes, the new limousine has been designed
for those who value their privacy above all else.
Instantly recognisable from other Bentley limousines by its broad
D-pillar aft of the rear doors, the new limousine allows its rear seat
passengers to sit deeply recessed within a unique and luxurious
interior, well away from prying eyes's natural sight-line. Not only does
this afford a considerable degree of security and seclusion, it also
provides passengers with a beautifully cosseting environment,
reminiscent of the great Bentley Speed Six and 8-litre limousines of the
1920s and early '30s.
One look at the limousine in profile shows how the styling changes have
transformed the visual feel of the Arnage. The first and most important
modification is the addition of a 450mm (18 inches) section of bodywork
within the wheelbase and, of course, fully engineered chassis
modifications to accommodate its extra weight. As customers for such a
car will almost invariably travel in the back, all this extra wheelbase
has been given over to enhancing room in the rear with 200mm (8 inches)
of the extra length alone located in the D-pillar.
Creating such a car is a considerable challenge in terms of engineering,
styling and craftsmanship but the commissioning and execution of
precisely such vehicles Bentley Mulliner thrives on. By having a team of
world class experts operating as a dedicated department within Bentley
Motors, Bentley Mulliner can respond with extraordinary speed to satisfy
its customers' desires. For this reason, creating a car of the new
limousine's complexity - which might take another manufacturer three
years or more- has been done from scratch by Mulliner in little more
than six months.
The result is a car that not only offers peerless comfort and a
sumptuous, spacious rear cabin; it is also aesthetically pleasing from
every angle, inside and out. For while others may be able to make cars
as large as the new limousine, the real skill comes from how the
finished article appears, the ambience it achieves and the way it is
perceived. The limousine is a large and majestic car but it is also
subtle, discreet and avoids ostentation and vulgarity. It is the kind of
car that cannot be conjured out of nowhere: it is the result not only of
painstaking design and engineering, but also the innate understanding of
such cars that has been handed down the generations at Crewe. This
personalisation is the commodity that cannot be bought or acquired and,
among the world's luxury car makers, it exists only at Bentley.
Inside, the cabin of the limousine has been kept deliberately
restrained, discreet and, it is fair to say, minimalist in execution. It
would, of course, have been possible to fill the car with all manner of
wonderful examples of Bentley Mulliner's unique skills but even the most
comprehensively equipped car could only give a glimpse of Bentley
Mulliner's capabilities. Instead, the idea that inspired the limousine's
interior was that it should appear as a blank canvas to illustrate the
fact that, within the bounds of legality and unlike any other car
company, the interior of the car is the choice of the customer alone.
Once it has finished its public duties, it will return to Bentley
Mulliner to be equipped according to its new owner's specification.
In the meantime, twin, 12in DVD screens fitted into the rear of the
front seats will provide prospective customers with the information and
inspiration needed to whet the imagination's appetite and Bentley
Mulliner specialists will be on hand to answer questions and offer
"In the main," says Bentley Mulliner director Richard Charlesworth, "we
are here to listen and respond. Our relationship with the customer is
not like those of other car companies where you are told what you can
have and you make your colour and materials selection accordingly. That
approach puts a very definite limit on what can be achieved - convenient
for the car company but less satisfactory for the customer. We have no
limits - if it can be done, within all normal bounds, we will do it."
Some luxury car companies are fond of quoting statistics concerning how
many option permutations it is possible to choose from, a number Bentley
Mulliner is delighted to be unable to provide as it is, effectively
infinite. With a car like the new limousine, Bentley Mulliner will
provide the chassis, engine and body (though even these can all also be
modified to suit customer choice) but the look and feel of the interior
can be as personal to the customer's wishes as he or she likes. "When
specifying a limousine," says Charlesworth, "it would be quite typical
for a customer to come to Crewe and spend two days talking to our
designers and engineers about their requirements. Many also choose to
see our cabinet makers, seamstresses and metal workers going about their
business with a dedication, care and love for their work that has all
but disappeared from an increasingly time-hungry industry."
Other features of the new limousine include an unusually small rear
windscreen to enhance the feeling of privacy inside and electric
footrests that slide back and up to provide perfect support for your
calves when relaxing.
Bentley Mulliner has also made use of the space inside the extended
D-pillar. By carefully choosing softly padded but supportive substrates
behind the pillar's upholstery, Mulliner has created the perfect resting
place for a sleepy head. Specially extended rear headrests also help
cradle the cranium. New illuminated vanity mirrors have also been
designed into the D-pillar, providing passengers with the perfect way to
check their appearance before leaving the privacy of the car.
To enhance further comfort, the rear door has been redesigned too, to
reflect the fact that the passengers will now be somewhat further away
thanks to the 200mm (8 inches) extension to the body between the rear
door and wheel. In particular the armrest has been reworked and extended
rearward while a further rest acts as a continuation of the armrest
inside the D-pillar.
Naturally, the limousine also benefits from all the modifications
announced for the 2005 model year Arnage. These enhancements are
designed to supplement the extensive mechanical changes introduced with
the Series Two Arnage in 2002 and improve the appearance, comfort and
ease of use of all Arnages.
Most notable from the outside is the revised frontal treatment of the
car which gives the Arnage a much stronger visual identity within the
Bentley family, a styling direction evolved for the Continental GT
Coupe. Twin individual headlamps are fitted and the bonnet line raised
to give a more purposeful appearance. New bumpers are fitted and
telescopic headlamp washer units replace the previous bumper mounted
items. The radiator grille has a more integrated appearance and straight
grille vanes are once more available.
Inside the centre console has been completely revised with new, unique
switchgear for the air-conditioning controls, repositioned controls for
the window winders, seats and mirror adjusters. The satellite navigation
system has been re-engineered to give a more integrated, attractive
appearance on top of the dashboard.
Powering the limousine is of course Bentley's legendary 6.75-litre
turbocharged V8. Recently re-engineered from the ground up, the 400bhp
powerplant offers performance aplenty and mighty low down torque, the
hallmark of all Bentleys.
This new Bentley Arnage limousine is proof positive that the company
remains unique in the way it listens and responds to its customers and
in its ability to provide them with limousines with an unrivalled blend
of luxury, elegance, technology and coachbuilding. It is a tradition
that has survived since Bentley's earliest days and has been in practice
at Crewe since its very first car, a Bentley MkVI, was produced 58 years
ago. No other car manufacturer can approach this wealth of tradition,
nor match the skills that result. Crewe is the home of
handcraftsmanship, and Bentley Mulliner's new Limousine, its latest