Built to replace the soon-to-be discontinued Arnage, the Mulsanne is Bentley‘s new flagship model that has been designed and engineered at Crewe from the ground-up. We already got a taste of the Mulsanne about a month ago at the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance in California, but now Bentley has released further details on the limousine that made its European premiere in Frankfurt.
On the outside, the Mulsanne is less gaudy than the Rolls Royce Phantom but far more interesting than Daimler’s S-Class-lookalike, the Maybach 57/62, which are the car’s closest rivals. Highlights include the bold front design with the unusual quad headlamp arrangement and the huge front grille that echo the styling of the Bentley S-Type of the 1950s, the swooping rear end and muscular shoulder lines at the back along with the massive 20-inch or optionally, 21-inch alloy wheels.
Customers can choose from a huge range of 114 paint colors that include everything from unusual heritage colors and special satin to pearlescent finishes and duo-tone combinations. And if that isn’t enough, Bentley offers an individualization programme where buyers specify the car with a unique color of their choice.
Moving on to the interior, the Mulsanne blends traditional styling and materials with high-tech gadgets and modern luxury amenities such as the multimedia system with 40 GB hard disc drives, satellite navigation, audio/video, personal data, telephone and Bluetooth connectivity. The entire cabin is encased within a “ring of wood” while most surfaces are dressed in premium leather.
Again, customers can select from what Bentley describes as a “virtually unlimited palette of leather hides”, including 24 standard colours, of which three are new for Bentley.
Bentley says that while the firm’s engineers where considering numerous powertrain configurations early on in the project, they concluded that a revised version of the 6¾-litre V8 engine would best serve their objectives for a engine that would “produce effortless torque from extremely low revs, maintain the highest levels of refinement and satisfy the strict current and future environmental standards.”
In the Mulsanne, the twin-turbocharged 6¾-litre V8 produces an output of 512 horsepower and a massive peak torque of 1020 Nm / 752 lb ft that is now delivered even earlier at 1,800 rpm. The V8 delivers its power to the rear wheels through a the new eight-speed automatic transmission which, for the first time on a flagship Bentley, comes with steering-wheel mounted gearshift.
According to the VW Group-owned British automaker, CO2 emissions and fuel consumption are reduced by more than 15 percent in the revised powertrain.
Other mechanical highlights include the new air suspension system with continuously variable dampers and the also newly developed Drive Dynamics Control system that allows the driver / chauffer to calibrate the suspension and steering control systems to a preferred driving style.
Provisional technical Specification
Type: Twin-turbocharged V8
Installation: Front, longitudinal, rear-wheel drive
Construction: Alloy heads and block
Power: 512PS / 505bhp / 377kW
Torque: 1020Nm / 752 lb ft
Gearbox: ZF 8-Speed automatic
Body & Chassis
Length: 5562mm (219.49in)
Width: 1926mm (75.80in)
Height: 1526mm (60.01in)
Wheelbase: 3266mm (128.60in)
Front Track: 1605mm (63.20in)
Rear Track: 1651mm (65.00in)
Wheels / tyres (standard): 9J x 20in. with 265/45 ZR 20 tires
(Optionally): 9J x 21in. with 265/40 ZR 21 tires