Bentley launches its Arnage Final Series, a wonderfully blunt name for the run-out Arnage model. Probably a good thing too - the upright Final Series looked like a old-fashioned stately home next to its sleeker, more modern Continental siblings.
So is the Arnage going out with a splash?
Indeed it is - a Bentley spokesman describes this car as a kind of 'Arnage Greatest Hits', because it represents all the best bits anyone might have ordered, all sewn together to make the ultimate version. Just 150 will be produced, the final 150 units, so the Arnage T and the R are rolled into one for this last run. So the Final Series gets the 500bhp Arnage T engine, the T instruments and quilted leather trim, plus the Brooklands 20-inch wheels, and lots of lovely R detailing, like four umbrellas in the boot. You also get special badging, special inlays in the wood, and a cocktail cabinet in the back. Super! Deliveries start in Spring 09, and Bentley expects 55 cars to come to the UK, priced at 314,000 Euros plus local taxes.
So does Bentley look like the banking crisis might be a crisis?
Definitely not. The stand also features an amazing looking Continental GT in creamy-grey, and a Flying Spur. Orders have definitely 'softened', according to Bentley, and it looks like sales will be down some 15% this year; but the majority of that has been in the Continental series of cars, while the top end (the Arnage, Brooklands, Azure) carry on selling to squillionaires regardless. The sooner Bentley's flagship replacement comes along the better - though Bentley will reveal no details other than 'they're working on it'.
One of the few stands that makes absolutely no reference whatsoever to the environment. I wonder why?