This fast Bentley is a supercar and a limo rolled into one.
In our "Supercars On A $50,000 Budget" series we have featured a range of cars with different attributes. Some are luxuriously appointed, like the stunning Aston Martin DB9. Others are stripped-out racers like the Lotus Exige. This week's budget supercar definitely falls into the former category. Our selection has four doors and weighs a hefty 5,699 pounds. You may be thinking, "How could something so heavy be a supercar?" Just wait until you hear about its incredible engine.
The 6.8-liter (or 6 and 3/4) V8 that is used in the 2004 Bentley Arnage T traces its roots back to the 1950s. This engine is actually still used today in the Mulsanne where it produces 530 horsepower. In the Arnage T, this twin-turbocharged power plant produced 450 horsepower and 645 lb-ft of torque.
The speed of the Arnage is truly blistering and what makes it even more special is that the speed comes without any drawbacks. As Jeremy Clarkson demonstrated when he drove the Arnage T, it would be easy to fall asleep while doing 130 mph. So the Bentley is comfortable and fast in a straight line, but you may be saying thinking that those features alone don't make it worthy of being called a supercar. Back in 2004 Clarkson predicted that you would question the Arnage's supercar capabilities. That is why he turned the traction control off to show how well this car could go around bends. He described the experience as being like "riding a brontosaurus bare-back."
Watching the Arnage drift is like watching Buckingham Palace go sideways. It is frankly ridiculous. However, just knowing that it is possible makes us grin. Even with a four-speed automatic transmission the Arnage T could hit 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and top out at 155 mph. Back in 2004, the Arnage T would set you back around $230,000, but it can now be had for a fraction of that. We found Arnages for as low as $40,000, but this 2004 model for sale in Tennessee is the one we'd buy. The car only has 20,000 miles on it and the dealership is asking for $49,999. Considering you are buying a hand-built car with an engine that is still being used by Bentley, we think this is a pretty good deal.
We think that it would be hard to match the sheer luxury and power that you get in the Arnage T at almost any price. Sure a used S-Class would be quite luxurious, but it can't match the amount of character that you get from the hand-built Bentley and its charismatic 6 and 3/4-liter V8.