THE WORLD’S FASTEST ULTRA-LUXURY DRIVING EXPERIENCE
The New Bentley Mulsanne Speed is an awesome machine. It’s a huge car at over five and a half metres in length and over three tons in weight with an ultra luxurious cabin yet it has the performance to rival the best sports cars out there. It is actually mind-blowing.
The reengineered powertrain, featuring Bentley’s mighty 6¾-litre twin-turbo V8, propels the Mulsanne Speed to 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds and has a top speed of 190 mph. New and contemporary styling features define the Mulsanne Speed as a statement in quintessential British luxury. On-board technology and connectivity are discreetly integrated beneath the finest materials, created with unrivalled craftsmanship and exquisite handcrafted details.
Torque has been pushed to record levels.
At the heart of the engine is a totally redesigned combustion system (including combustion chamber, inlet ports, fuel injectors, spark plugs, and compression ratio) which promotes a much faster and more controlled combustion process. Through combining these advances with new variable valve timing and optimised turbocharger control, torque output of the engine has now been pushed to 1,100 Nm (811 lb.ft) from 1,750 rpm.
The new engine is paired with a recalibrated gearbox designed to enhance the driving experience. The gear strategy is optimised for the new, higher wave of torque, and is designed for instant torque delivery on throttle application. The connection between the car and driver has been the focus, and extensive validation with both keen drivers and professional chauffeurs has proven the new setup. A new “S” mode gives the driver even more control, and maintains the engine speed above 2,000 rpm so that the turbochargers are always ready to deliver instantaneous performance.
An extensive recalibration of the engine management system has yielded benefits beyond increased torque and power. The cylinder deactivation system, that runs the engine as a V4 during light load, has been retuned for smoother transitions between V8 and V4 for even greater refinement. This work combines with a new gearbox control strategy and the engine hardware improvements to give a new level of efficiency for the Mulsanne engine.
The Mulsanne Speed reflects its ground-breaking performance with new and more assertive styling features that are marks of distinction for Bentley’s pinnacle flagship.
A dark tint finish is applied to the exterior stainless steel matrix grilles, in a process unique in the automotive industry, with the radiator grille, lower bumper grilles and wing vents all featuring this exquisite treatment. The distinctive headlights of the Mulsanne show the same dark tint application, and at the rear of the car the taillights retain the “floating ellipse” design, but are similarly finished with a dark tint for a striking appearance, especially at night.
The Mulsanne Speed introduces Bentley’s first ever directional style wheel, with a design that is handed for the right or left side of the car. The 21″ wheels, available in painted, polished and dark tint with machined accent finishes, are individually machined from solid forged blanks, before being perfected by hand. Twin rifled exhaust tailpipes are the finishing touch to the revised powertrain, while solid, polished stainless steel Speed badging adorns the front fender and door tread plate areas.
A Cabin of Contemporary Luxury
The cabin of the Mulsanne Speed is a contemporary reinterpretation of the exquisite interior of the Bentley flagship. To create a modern two-tone feel, a new and unique colour split is available, with new stitch lines, that balances diamond quilted light-colour hide with darker, smooth hide. A new technical veneer option is available, with Piano Black veneer panels now including expertly handcrafted carbon fibre inlays. These new, contemporary panels have been especially developed for the Mulsanne Speed and match the rich, lustrous finish of the Piano Black veneer.
Concealed Technology and Endless Customisation
Concealed beneath the exquisite materials that define the Mulsanne Speed cabin is a suite of technology to make any journey as productive or relaxing as one desires. A 60 GB on-board hard drive can store the driver’s collection of music and films. Electrically-operated tables, with recesses and connections for iPads and matching keyboards, can be fitted to the rear of the front seats, while on-board Wi-Fi through a dedicated router keeps the car connected to the outside world. A frosted glass bottle cooler, complete with bespoke crystal champagne flutes, may be installed behind the rear armrest. A 2,200 watt Naim for Bentley premium audio system expands on the standard 14-speaker system and offers the best in-car sound experience in the world. Entertainment on-the-move can be provided through the Rear Seat Entertainment system, including two 8” screens and Bluetooth headphones.
Verdict: The Signature Bentley Mulsanne is the car that will be driven by chauffeurs around the world with the majority of owners opting to enjoy the luxury from the back of the cabin. The Bentley Mulsanne Speed however is the car that will give many chauffeurs extra days off as the owners will what to enjoy driving this car themselves. At first it was a little daunting with the size of the car having to navigate busy roads in Leeds but I soon became totally relaxed and at one with car. This is testament to how good the Mulsanne Speed is to drive. As well as the obvious, it’s a Bentley, it’s big, it’s extremely luxurious. It is also excitingly sporty, has really good road feel and it is just great fun to drive. Cost wise, they start from over £250k and the model I tested had a lot of extras so was getting close to the £300k mark. This is quite a lot to spend on a car but having spent a few days with one there is now no question that in fact it is worth every penny.
Road Tested by: Adam McCartney
With thanks to: Bentley Leeds
Bentley Mulsanne Speed
Engine 6¾ Litre twin-turbo V8
Power 530 bhp
Torque 1100 Nm / 811 lb.ft @ 1750 rpm
Top Speed 190 mph
Acceleration (0-60 mph) 4.8 secs
Fuel Consumption Combined 19.3 mpg
Price from £253,155.00