The Bentley Arnage Drophead Coupé (posh car maker-speak for convertible) launched at the Los Angeles motor show in January 2005 is to go into production with delivery of the first cars scheduled for spring 2006.

The Arnage is a luxury four-seater convertible built on the Arnage sedan platform and succeeds the Azure, built for eight years.

The Arnage convertible will be the fourth new model in four years for Bentley, bought by the Volkswagen Group in 1998. The company has enjoyed considerable acclaim and a substantial boost in volume from its Continental GT Coupé, launched in 2002, as well as the 2005 Arnage update and the four-door Flying Spur sedan derivative of the Continental.

The new convertible will have a twin-turbocharged 450bhp/336kW V8 engine, double-wishbone suspension and a hydraulically-operated three-layer canvas roof which retracts in under 30 seconds.