This 2000 Bentley Arnage Red Label was the top-of-the-line, built
at a time when BMW and Volkswagen were busily picking apart
Rolls-Royce and Bentley. Fortunately, the good stuff stayed (the
twin-turbo V8) and the rest was heavily upgraded with typical
German precision. This might just be the best car Bentley ever
6000 pounds of British sedan is going to get noticed, I don't care who you are. But when it moves like a 5.0 Mustang and has the coddling luxury of a Lear jet, well, things get mighty interesting. If there's a better color for a bruiser like this, I don't know what it might be, and the artisans who painted it were obviously at the top of their game. Sure, it's 17 years old now, but the depth of the finish, the precision of the bodywork, and the hand-rubbed gloss just can't be faked, so this car still looks insanely expensive. It's gigantic, but that's kind of the point, and this black sedan will make your neighbor with his Escalade on 20s feel like Pee Wee Herman, because this is a man's car in every way. The big Bentley grille is easy to recognize and has the mesh insert that denotes the fastest models, and yes, the Red Label does mean there's a red 'B' on the nose of the car, just to let a select few know that you bought the right one.
There still nobody who can do interiors like the British and the stunning tan leather driver's compartment of this Bentley is simply stunning. The chairs coddle the passengers, the wood is real burled walnut, and there's nothing that you can touch that doesn't feel insanely expensive. Big white-faced gauges are simple and elegant, much like the Smiths dials of yore, and the controls are neatly arrayed on the center stack. The entertainment system hides out of sight in its own compartment in the center of the dash, and if you're a previous Rolls-Royce owner, you'll surely recognize some of the controls like the seat switches on the console and the eyeball vents in the dash. Everything works, which should be reassuring to anyone contemplating such a complex vehicle, and if you're lucky enough to ride in back, you'll find your own A/C controls, fold-down tables and a sinful amount of legroom. The trunk is likewise large and well-shaped, and offers access to the CD changer.
This car was originally designed for a BMW V12, but the Red Label cars received Crewe's own six-and-three-quarter liter V8, augmented by a turbocharger. As Tony Gott, chief executive of Rolls-Royce in 1999 said, "You didn't really think we'd make a new car into which our own engine would not fit?" Thank you, Tony, because the engine defines this car. There's limitless torque at any speed (more than 600 pound-feet are on tap) and your mind will struggle with the concept of something this big also being this fast. The big Roller V8 has proven its durability over the years and with proper maintenance, it should run practically indefinitely, which is the Bentley way. Stay out of the throttle and it wooshes along in serene silence and never gets cranky, with the slick-shifting ZF automatic transmission always finding just the right gear. Either way, this Bentley is a visceral thrill. The suspension never puts a wheel wrong and the brakes are insanely powerful, which is a good thing considering curb weight is a bit north of 6000 pounds. 18-inch alloys are chrome plated, a little flashy maybe, but why not, and are fitted with 255/50/18 Nitto radials.
This is not a car for just anyone. Because you can afford it doesn't mean it's right for you. But if you're that rare kind of man who understands why this car is special, it will reward you like no other. Call today!
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