Our initial runs had the Arnage pulling low 15s in the quarter-mile, which seemed slow for such a powerful engine. However, since we started brake-torquing the 6.75-liter V8 to 2,000 rpm before launching the times dropped almost a full second. Obviously, the twin turbos need to be spooled up for maximum acceleration. The engine is fully isolated from the cabin, making power delivery seem smooth and linear, but the truth is that when the turbos kick in there is a marked increase in power. Throttle response also felt a bit abrupt, but traction wasn't an issue and the transmission upshifted positively at just below redline (around 4,400 rpm).
Out of four braking runs the last two were shorter than the first two, confirming that fade was not an issue. Like the throttle pedal, the brake pedal wasn't as progressive as we would have liked, but minimal ABS noise and vibration were apparent under maximum braking. There was a significant amount of front-end dive while braking, but that's to be expected in a vehicle of this type and weight. Distances were impressive for such a heavy car.
By keeping the Bentley in third gear through the slalom, the turbos were fully spooled up, providing instant thrust when hitting the throttle. But, because of the open rear differential it was easy to break the inside tire loose when trying to acelerate. The electronic stability program had to be disabled, yet careful throttle application was required to get the highest average speed. Steering feedback and body roll were both better than expected from such a large, comfort-oriented car. The Bentley boys would be proud. Karl Brauer