We've just landed these new photographs of Bentley's new Arange replacement. Dubbed the Grand New Bentley – or Project Kimberley internally, the new limousine is a landmark car for Bentley and the most important newcomer since the Continental family took Crewe from a niche player to a serious luxury manufacturer building up to 10,000 cars a year.
CAR Online nabbed a world exclusive earlier in July 2009 when we published pictures of an early prototype
of the new Arnage successor. Now we've caught it on the road, albeit in heavily disguised form.
Despite the layers of cladding and camouflage, you can now get a sense of the scale of the car – and it dwarfs the Peugeot 205 going in the opposite direction! As we reported earlier, the new Bentley limo will be available in a single wheelbase this time – placing it between the current Arnage and RL.Why is it disguised as a Rolls-Royce?
Well, the new Bentley is hardly a carbon-copy Roller. But the engineers have put a bluff, upright front grille like modern Rolls-Royces' and some of the body panels have been cloaked to look more Phantomesque – all in the name of putting spy photographers and nosy members of the public off the scent.
It's not the first time we've caught British engineers disguising their cars with a sense of irony. Earlier this summer we caught a Jaguar XJ test car dressed up to look like an arch-rival BMW (click here for the full 'JMW' story
).When will we see the new Bentley Arnage successor?
Soon. Bentley has announced it'll show the new car at Pebble Beach on 16 August 2009. It's expected to go on sale in spring 2010 for around £220,000.
CAR's previously reported how it will have a 6.75-litre V8 that will be able to run on biofuels in certain markets. Although based on the 50-year-old Bentley V8, it has been completely overhauled to cope with the demands of 21st century regulations. The rest of the car, too, will follow the ancient and modern creed – with the emphasis on cutting edge tech married to the beautiful, top-end craftsmanship for which Bentley is famed.>> Stay tuned over the next few weeks as CAR brings you the full story on the new Bentley limousine