The Bentley Mulsanne is a luxury car produced by Bentley Motors Limited in the United Kingdom. The car is named after the Mulsanne Corner of the Le Mans racing circuit. The last time the brand built a bespoke model from the ground up, W.O. Bentley was still on the payroll. At the same time, thee world was on the precipice of total financial ruin and Bentley itself was about to be bought by Rolls-Royce. While today's backdrop bears some similarities to 1931, Bentley can at least now consider itself in good health. The Mulsanne's look is traditional Bentley, but with a modern touch including an array of LED’s around the headlights circumference to provide dipped beam. The front is a homage to the Bentley S-Type of the 1950s, but the look is thoroughly modern.
Bentley's flagship saloon is just under 5.6m long. As such, it's about 350mm longer than the Jaguar's long wheelbase XJ and large even by Bentley's own standards. The long bonnet, short front overhang and long rear overhang is textbook luxury car styling. The wheels measure 20 inches, although 21s are optionally available. The Mulsanne's body allows for some of that weightless growth. It sits on a steel monocoque and features lightweight super-formed aluminum doors and front wings, a process borne of the aerospace industry. Despite the cutting-edge technology, the D-pillars are so complex, they are created by coach-builders.
The Mulsanne's body cloaks an entirely new chassis for a Bentley. It consists of double wishbones at the front and a multi-link system at the rear. The body is suspended via an adaptable air suspension system that allows the car to lower its ride height at speed and maintain good body control and level suspension irrespective of load. The Mulsanne's powertrain is a totally refreshed version of Bentley's 6.75 litre twin-turbocharged V8, now producing 505hp and 725lb.ftof torque. Other engines were considered, but dismissed because they wouldn't produce the effortless low-rev torque that owners of grand Bentley's expect.
Bentley's titanic pushrod V8 is the reason why, despite tracing its ancestry back to 1952, it feels wonderful under the long prow of the Mulsanne; refined, potent, still as industrious and idiosyncratic to listen to as ever and at last, perfectly matched with a modern gearbox. Although very hushed at idle, you get a taste of the engine's distant savagery when you blip the throttle out of gear. The crankshaft zaps beyond 3500rpm in an instant and with enough force to rock down the substantial Mulsanne laterally on its suspension.
Near the top of the center console, underneath an eight-inch satellite navigation screen that motors almost noiselessly out from behind a veneered door, you'll find the Mulsanne's iPod connector. Hidden in a leather-lined, chrome-edged drawer, its the perfect microcosmic representation of this car's mission statement, to deliver the very latest technology and last word in comfort, to the Bentley customer, in a rich, elegant and unprecedented style. The fascia in front of you is clad in glossy wood, surrounded on all sides by soft leather and punctuated by polished stainless steel fittings. There's no Breitling clock, as in previous Bentley's, but the usual organ-stop ventilation controls are present.
The opulent luxury in the rear cabin is just as impressive. Eight-way adjustable heated seats are standard and they grant a maximum of 1050mm of legroom and 940mm of headroom. That's more legroom than you get in either a Mercedes-Benz S-class or an Audi R8. Other limousines might approach the Mulsanne's spaciousness and interior specification, but few produce the same air of relaxed, informal luxury. The driver sits in a tall chair that's comfortable and supportive and adjusts in 12 directions. A fairly large steering wheel presents itself ahead, with a veneer rim that's easily adjusted to your preferred position.
Why not the Mulsanne? Most owners of this kind of car will prioritize refinement over driver appeal, but if your taste is for a sporting driver whatever type of car it come in, the Mulsanne could well be the best luxury saloon in the world. The Bentley Mulsanne price starts from £228,200. The car is equipped with a lot of tech and compromises for the money you pay and the vehicle is worth a buy.
This is a vehicle that has a history in making for over 80 years.
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