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The 'grand new Bentley' – CAR spy photos of 2010 Mulsanne

By Tim Pollard

Spy shots

06 July 2009 13:20

New grand Bentley: the engine bay

The new Arnage successor is powered by the familiar 6.75-litre V8 that's powered big Bentleys for half a decade since its launch on the 1959 S2 Continental. It's been given a thorough makeover, and E85 biofuels versions are expected. In the longer run, we'd bet a substantial amount of dosh that either a diesel or hybrid powertrain is under development to yield Bentley's promised 40% cut in CO2 by 2012.
Like the Continental GT Supersports, E85 doesn't mean a P45 from the performance club. We hear the hand-built V8 will produce more power than today (expect some 550bhp and 800lb ft) and will v-max at around 200mph.

All that muscle will be sent to all four corners; like the Conti family, the new limo will adopt 4wd using know-how from sister company Audi. This new drivetrain is an apt reminder that there are very few carryover parts from the existing Arnage. Project Kimberley will be described as all-new when it is officially unveiled.

How much will the new Bentley limo cost?

In line with its Rolls-Royce bashing aspirations, the new Bentley is tipped to cost from £220,000 for the base model. Unlike today's Arnage which can be ordered in RL stretched LWB form, there will be a single wheelbase offered, in a bid to cut down complication and cost at the factory.

It's an important point. Bentley is striving to improve its profitability with the new car and it'll be much easier to build. Today's car is extraordinarily labour intensive, but the new one will take significantly less time to roll off the existing Arnage line; the Azure convertible and Brooklands coupé will continue in production for a while until Project Kimberley ultimately spawns successors for each.

>> Click 'Next' to read about the new Bentley's pampering cabin