2011 Bentley Mulsanne just had its international launch in England where reporters were treated to a tour of the model's new assembly line in Crewe with Project Leader Ashley Wickham.
With regards to the powertrain, Wickham disclosed that the Mulsanne was developed exclusively as a rear-drive model, continuing the tradition began by the Arnage and its variants.
As the new model was being drawn, the company was focused on the all-wheel drive and a higher cylinder count, as the Mulsanne's less-expensive stablemate, the Continental, has both more driven wheels and has a V12, as opposed to getting only a V8.
Still, a decision has to be made to keep the new Mulsanne as a more traditional grand touring model in the Arnage mold.
It's interesting to note that it has RWD and identical 6.75-liter V8 engine displacement. But despite outward similarities, the twin-turbo engine is all-new.
Wickham had acknowledged that flex-fuel is being considered. But this shouldn't as a surprise since Bentley's high-profile Supersports started the news that the entire Continental range will go flex-fuel in June.
When asked about the likelihood of a future diesel model being rolled out, Wickham stated that there are no current plans for this variant. Wickham also questioned the performance of a powerplant that would align with the company's heritage.
And that's despite diesel's low-revving, torque-rich similarities to the company's gasoline V8. Also, Wickham didn't mince words about hybrid technology, emphasizing that gas-electric power is not in keeping with Bentley's flagship model.