What's New for 2001
The "base" model Green Label is dropped for 2001. We suppose that Bentley figured that once you step up to a Bent, you're not gonna want the low-end version to save a measly $6,000. Otherwise, there's nothing new to report.
Since its introduction at Le Mans in 1998, the Bentley Arnage Sedan (or saloon, if you want to sound like someone who deserves to drive a Bentley) has represented the company's desire to combine rapid people-moving and sporty driving character. The first Arnage came equipped with a BMW-sourced 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 that propelled the two-and-a-half ton beast to speed with authority while providing a luxurious and secure environment. Called the Arnage Green Label, this model is dropped for the 2001 model year.
That leaves the Red Label, which got an all-new 6.75-liter V8 last year, to uphold the Arnage name. This brute of a powerplant makes 400 horsepower and 619 foot-pounds of torque. Just to clarify, that's 250 foot-pounds more than the land-based rocket ship known as the BMW M5. It even bests GM's 8.1-liter diesel truck engine by 165 foot-pounds of torque! This engine is hooked to a four-speed automatic with adaptive shift control to "learn" the operator's driving characteristics.
What does all this twist power do for the Arnage Red Label's 0-to-60 time? Try 5.9 seconds. Even more impressive is the 2.2 seconds it takes to go from 30 to 50 mph. Remember, this car weighs more than 5,500 pounds before anyone gets inside!
That copious curb weight comes from a full boat of options, including park distance control, power-folding exterior mirrors, grade "A" leather interior treatments (available in 23 colors), electrically adjustable rear seats with easy entry/exit function, GPS navigation, one-touch open/close windows, anti-intrusion door beams and a rigid all-steel monocoque structure.
Riding on a double-wishbone independent suspension (front and rear) and backed up by a computer-controlled adaptive electro-hydraulic damping system, plus traction control, stability control, ride height control, ABS and speed-sensitive steering, the Arnage features more technology than a James Cameron film.
We have a hard time recommending a car that costs more than the average price of a home in America, but we're crazy like that. For people who spend money like it's got "Monopoly" written all over it, the Arnage makes a fine conveyance from point A to point B. And don't forget to make your friends call it a "saloon" when they show up asking for a ride.