Detroit January, 2004. Bentley Motors is pleased to announce a limited run of special Bentley Arnage Ts to commemorate Bentley’s historic sixth win in the Le Mans 24-hours. Just 24 of these cars will be offered for sale in the US, while a handful will be built for the UK and Continental Europe. With extensive use of carbon-fibre and the replacement of much brightwork with body-coloured panels, the T-24 will have a unique appearance and be the most sporting-looking saloon ever to be designed at Crewe.
The brief handed down to the stylists at Bentley Mulliner, the personal commissioning wing of the company that is responsible for the Arnage T-24 Mulliner, was to augment the T’s already uncompromisingly sporting style still further. The aim was to create a car that was not only as thrilling to look at as to drive but one that also made clear visual links to the victorious Bentley Speed 8s which recorded the most dominant win in the modern history of Le Mans last June.
Most notable as you approach the car are the vents in the front wings. Designed to recall the distinctive louvres over the front wings of the Speed 8, they give the Arnage T an animal quality and are reminiscent of a shark’s gills. Above these vents sits a simple Union Flag badge with the number ’24’, in the same style as the 24 used on the Le Mans-winners’ trophy. Also noticeable are the split rim 19in alloy wheels. Though these have the same basic design as the optional 19in wheels available on the Arnage T, not only are they standard on the T-24 Mulliner, they are also highly polished to give a much deeper shine.
As you move around the car, you’ll notice that the lamp bezels at the front and rear have their chrome removed to be replaced by body-coloured inserts. The T-24 can also be clearly identified from the rear, courtesy of its unique and dominant quartet of exhaust pipe finishers. These exude purpose and sit beneath a redesigned rear bumper.
Changes to the standard specification are just as extensive inside the T-24 Mulliner. The dominant theme is carbon-fibre, the same material from which the chassis and body of the Speed 8 Le Mans winner is built. Carbon fibre inserts are used in lieu of aluminium for both the waistrails and facia while the rear picnic tables are also covered in carbon fibre.
Other changes include kickplates beneath the doors that now say ‘T-24 Mulliner’ instead of the standard ‘Arnage’ legend while the demister ducts and interior mirror surround now both carry the same colour as the hide.
Exceptionally rare, even by Arnage standards, individually numbered and recalling the greatest sporting moment in Bentley’s recent history, the Arnage T-24 Mulliner is bound to become one of the most coveted Bentleys of the modern era.