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Roadfly Magazine
Detroit Auto Show, CES & Las Vegas Show, BMW 760, CTS-V and Jeep Reviews
Issue Fifteen
January 26, 2005
2005 Detroit Auto Show
2005 Detroit Auto Show Photo Gallery
2005 Detroit Auto Show Awards
Best of Show: Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Best Buy: Toyota Avalon
Best Concept: Ford Shelby GR-1
Best New Vehicle for 2005: Ford Mustang GT
Most Innovative: General Motors Sequel

2005 CES Show From Las Vegas
2005 LA Auto Show
Fall 2004 SEMA Show from Vegas
BMW 760
Cadillac CTS-V
Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
Coming Next Issue
Chip Foose
VW Phaeton W12
Long Term Storage
Ultimate Ears

2005 Los Angeles Auto Show:
Seeking Instant Gratification
By Val A. Parker
Contributing Writer

(January 24, 2005)

Bentley Arnage Drophead Coupe, under cover

Dropping the top on the Bentley Concept

Top down fun with the Bentley Arnage Drophead Coupe

Go to
2005 LA Auto Show
Photo Gallery
Official Web site:
LA Auto Show
Ok. Here I am at the 2005 LA Auto show. Walking. What's up with that? I guess I need a new ride. I came here from the airport in a limo, which in LA is about as exciting as a yellow cab in Manhattan.

LA. Sunshine, maybe cruise over to the Chateau Marmont, hold my agent's head under water for a while. Nice sunny day - maybe a nice ragtop - well, here's Bentley, isn't that a bit of luck? The Arnage Drophead Coupe. Can't the Brits just call it a convertible like we do? Twenty-five seconds to drop the top? That's quicker than the girls at the 7th Veil.

Well, she's a beaut. A real 4-seater with leather you wouldn't want to spill anything darker than Champagne on. Back seat built for sin. And to get away from the scene of the crime, we have a 6.75 liter twin-turbo V8 bubbling up 450 of her Majesty's finest horses.

Well, I'm good. Let me talk to the Sales Manager... Out of State check, lost my I.D., and no problem? What? You're not building it until the spring? I was thinking of driving it off the lot - how about a Continental GT Coupe? What? They're on a year's back-order?

$3.75 for a latte? Are you all mad out here? But I need the caffeine to keep walking the show. Maybe the Bentley was a bit flash for a fellow like me, maybe something a little more Americana...

Well it's all down hill from Bentley, how will I ever avoid drawing the valet parking gig in Siberia? Oooh, what's this?

ME FourTwelve prototype, THIS is a Chrysler? Oh! I've heard rumors about this car, how some guys from AMG (the Mercedes tuner) were in Detroit on a cultural exchange program for Oktoberfest, and after having bonded with Detroit engineers over schnapps and suicide chicken wings they decided to raid the parts bin.

But being engineers they slipped a little in the naming department. 'ME' actually acronyms for 'mid-engine' (duh), 'FourTwelve' is four turbo chargers and twelve cylinders, and don't you dare think about writing that as "412" - they'll take away your pen AND break your fingers. They restrained themselves from referencing the 6.0 litre displacement, for which your humble correspondent is grateful.

For the ME we're talking 850 horsepower (at 5,750 rpm) and another 850 lb-feet of torque at mid-range on your tach. Because it only weighs about as much as a case of beer (lots of aluminum, carbon fiber body: weird stuff, grown in ovens, but that's another story) its acceleration is rumored to be under-3 seconds 0 to 60 with a sub-11-second quarter mile depending on if you're paying attention when the light changes or the guy behind you has to honk.

By the time you hit the next light you're up-close and personal with 248 mph.

Well, this will get me through the cruising strip on Sunset... Summertime? IF you build it? What? I need something to cruise to Fred Segal right now!

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