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Roadfly Magazine
Issue Six
Table of Contents

Past Issues Index
Roadfly Magazine
Bentley Arnage
Issue Six
March 22, 2003
Daytona 500
Cayenne Driving Experience
Bentley Arnage R
Bentley Arnage R
Photo Gallery
Bose Headphones
Coming Next Issue
G. Gordon Liddy
Jaguar XJ8
Credit Card Rewards
Porter Cable Buffer
Frozen Rotors

Road Test: 2003 Bentley Arnage R, continued.

bentley arnage

Bentley Arnage

Bentley Arnage

Bentley Arnage

Bentley Arnage

Bentley Arnage

Full Bentley Arnage R
Photo Gallery

PDF Coming Soon
The premium sound system is made by Alpine and is hidden behind a manually operated folding walnut door. It has only two knobs and a few push buttons. There's a wireless remote control that resides in the drivers door pocket when not in use. Sound quality was incredible, but imaging was slightly off, perhaps due to the placement of the mid-bass so far away from the tweeters. Again, a very minor complaint and almost not worth mentioning.

Finally, what ultra-luxury vehicle would be complete without a navigation system? The Arnage R answers the call with a dash mounted, motorized LCD screen that elegantly raises or lowers itself from the top of the dash. There's a DVD player and six-disc CD changer for those who require entertainment while driving.


Speaking of music, we rarely played any, as the Bentley Arnage R loves to make its own music. The twin-turbo charged, 6.75 liter pushrod operated V8 loves to be pushed. It was shocking to feel this vehicle accelerate like it did - with 600+ foot-pounds of torque available at 3000 rpm, there's little that will stop the Bentley from going where it wants to go.

Why twin turbos? The smaller, Garrett T3 turbo chargers increase throttle response and eliminate virtually any turbo lag (which is common in traditional single turbo charged V8's). When you mash the gas, there's no waiting - you simply go! And go, and go and go.

With all of that power on tap (0 to 60 comes in less than 6 seconds, according to Bentley), you'd think the 5,700lb vehicle would be a bear to stop or turn. Wrong on both accounts.

The Bentley Arnage R handles like a car 1/2 its size. It swallows up corners like only a canyon carver can, and it brakes like a sports car thanks to large, 13.7" front disc brakes and equally large 13.5" rear discs.

Apply the brakes and you'll be stopped in no time thanks in part to a fairly complex ESP (Electronic Stability Program) system that incorporates traction control, ABS, "Electronic Brake Pressure Distribution" (EBD), Engine Torque Control (ETC) and Hydraulic Brake Assistance (HBA). That's a lot of fancy acronyms for "stop now, with complete control"...

Driving the Bentley at cruising speeds is no problem. The steering transmits the perfect amount of feel, and the variable resistance makes short work of maneuvering this beast. Need to parallel park? No problem - the steering is light and nimble; the power assist leads you to believe the front end is light as a feather. Need to kick it up a notch and dive for that tricky apex? Again, not a problem - the steering assist offers the perfect amount of resistance and feel.

The transmission is glass smooth, and shifts are crisp and spot on, without being notchy or jarring. Our only complaint with the drive system is Bentley's apparent use of an "on-off" switch where the gas pedal would normally reside. It seemed like smooth, gentle throttle transitions were not possible - the engine was either loafing or roaring (but to be honest, we preferred the roaring mode).

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