Bentley Mulliner Arnage Limousine

The Bentley Mulliner Arnage Limousine is a showcase for the unrivalled craftsmanship skills of Bentley Mulliner, the company's bespoke team of coachbuilders, craftsmen and designers; a unique team dedicated to tailoring any Bentley to its owner's exclusive requirements.

First shown at the Paris Motorshow in September, this Arnage Limousine - neither an impractical 'concept' car, nor a series production car - is a fine example of Mulliner's stretch limousine expertise. It is simply an example of what Bentley Mulliner can achieve for any customer with an open mind and a wish to own a Bentley that is not just exclusive, but unique. And judging by the numbers of Bentley customers old and new who expressed an interest in the car, it would seem to have struck a chord, even in a market with increasing and welcome competition from other marques.

The focal point of the car is a 728mm (28 inches) extension to the wheelbase, giving Bentley Mulliner's design team the opportunity todesign an interior of a quality, magnificence and individuality that no production car could hope to emulate. The theme chosen for this Arnage Limousine was to demonstrate how traditional the very latest entertainment technology can be successfully and stylishly integrated with traditional materials such as leather and particularly wood can be used in challenging ways to create an entirely contemporary feel. It demonstrates clearly that the skills handed down from generation to generation at Crewe are as relevant today as ever, and that this combination of expertise, experience and understanding is unavailable anywhere else in the world.

Enter the car and the first sensation is one of space. Sit in one of the rear seats and you can stretch your legs until they meet footrests that also double as rear-facing occasional seats. A rear compartment sunroof has been fitted to provide additional natural lighting if preferred.

Stylistically the main focus falls on the use of both straight grain and burr English oak. Using dramatic curves, the cabin conceals a host of features many owners would consider essential. There is an independent air-conditioning system for the rear cabin, a concealed drinks bar, cigar drawer and bottle cooler. Lighting is provided not by conventional bulbs, but instead by fibre-optics, bathing the interior in warm light.

Most startling of all however is the hidden 22-inch (55 cms) entertainment screen that is skilfully designed to raise itself into view from in front of the electrically operated glass dividing screen between the front and rear cabins. Boasting Dolby 5.1 surround sound, which works in conjunction with the DVD and television systems and blinds on all windows to the side and rear, the Arnage Limousine turns itself into a private cinema in an instant.

continues... | Part Two

Published : 06/12/02 Author : Melanie Carter

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