Arnage Green Label

During the takeover battle in 1998 between BMW and Volkswagen Group for ownership of Rolls-Royce and Bentley Motors, BMW had threatened to stop supply of their engines if Volkswagen Group won. While the threat was later withdrawn in conjunction with BMW acquiring the right to manufacture Rolls-Royce automobiles at a new location, it was clear that Volkswagen could not accept the business and reputation risks associated with having their rival as a long-term business partner. Furthermore, customers were uncertain about engine and part availability (of which there turned out to be no issue) and orders for new cars dropped precipitously. Volkswagen’s response was to adapt the old 16-valve, 6.75-litre pushrod engine from the (Mulsanne) Turbo R for the Arnage body, which had been designed for the smaller and much lighter BMW 32-valve V8. Coupled with an outdated 4-speed automatic gearbox from General Motors, the engine was extremely thirsty, and would not meet government-imposed emissions standards without hasty modifications.


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