Speed Dating: The Bentley Mulsanne Speed
Look at the newest recruit to Bentley’s Mulsanne dynasty. Yes, beastly and urbane, whilst reeking of ludicrous amounts of very high-end materials and craftsmanship. So, business as usual then. You’ve probably already noted the dark tint finish to the grills and lights, the 21 inch ‘directional’ alloy wheels, twin rifled exhaust pipes, glimpses of ‘Speed’ badging, and the full ‘Mulliner Driving Spec’ for the interior. Named after legendary coach builders, H. J. Mulliner & Co, the marque now goes on all personally commissioned Bentleys. And this non-commissioned one.
Most likely you’ll also be admiring the diamond-pattern quilted hide seats (14 bull hides inside every car), drilled alloy pedals, and a ‘coined’ finish to the door handles. These constituents speak in one voice and that voice is saying ‘Buy Me’.
But you can’t make a decision based on looks alone. Well, of course you could. But the latest Mulsanne is above superficialities. This is the ultimate iteration of the ‘driver/owner’ concept. With the emphasis on ‘driver’. Redesigned combustion system, variable valve timing and an optimised turbocharger control – Bentley WANT you to crave the wheel. So the (appropriately named) Mulsanne Speed is a 530 bhp saloon that maxes out at a pulse-quickening 190mph. Which when you consider the car’s weight is a stilling thought.
The ‘Speed’ also gets a recalibrated ZF eight-speed gearbox, a smoother transition between four and eight cylinders and a new Sport mode. But it blows everything else out of the water when it comes to torque: Bentley’s signature 6.75-litre twin-turbo V8 now produces 811 lb-ft of twist, delivered at just 1,750 rpm, which should lead to the sort of effortless rolling acceleration that leaves other supercars feeling a little ashamed. And of course, we wager that all of this pulling and pushing and exploding will be nowt more than a breathy whisper in the Mulsanne’s temple-quiet interior.
The grand unveil will take place on Thursday 2nd October at the Paris Motor Show and deliveries will commence this winter. We must emphasise that other motorcars are available. We’re just not sure if you’ll be bothered to look at them after this.