In many ways this is the best-ever Arnage, and not just because of the 500bhp/738lb ft, 6.76-litre V8 engine. Arnage was originally designed to take a rev-happy twin-turbo BMW V8 and when VW finally got control of the marque, it installed the old Rolls-Royce V8 to the delight of enthusiasts and pretty much all Bentley customers.
Last year, the car received the six-speed ZF transmission, which removed one of the drawbacks of the Arnage as well as improving its fuel economy – the old GM four-speeder was strong but very slow to swap ratios. The chassis changes wrought by chief engineer Uli Eichhorn and his team have improved the handling and ride of the big car far beyond that of its immediate predecessor, let alone the near 25-year-old Mulsanne Turbo. This is immediately apparent at the wheel where, despite its 2.6-ton weight, its 17ft 8in length and 7ft width, the Arnage rides well on pitted Essex roads. The body control is excellent, so the car doesn’t float into corners.