Bentley Prepping for Change (2/24/2002)
CAPE TOWN, South Africa — The sun beats down mercilessly as we race east on the coastal road out of Cape Town. The southern tip of Africa is a land of extremes, vast plains interrupted by towering cliffs, lush forests opening onto scraggy brush. A baboon darts across the roadway, wildebeests and ostriches briefly interrupt their grazing to gaze up as we roar by.
South Africa is a long way to go to test-drive a new car. But the Bentley Arnage T isn’t your average automobile. It’s not just the latest from the stately British automaker, but a vehicle Bentley officials are calling their “bridge car.”
The Coupe will take aim at a younger, hipper, and slightly less affluent buyer, positioning Bentley directly against high-volume luxury brands, such as Mercedes-Benz. It should also yield significant increases in volume.
The Arnage line won’t go away, however, and will remain one of the most exclusive nameplates on the market. Which raises a fundamental question: is the Arnage T worth the price, which is expected to come in around $235,000 when it hits U.S. shores later this year? To find out, TheCarConnection spent 34 hours traveling to the other side of the globe.