Facelifted 2017 Bentley Mulsanne will be offered in three model types

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 26, 2016

Bentley Motors recently announced the full details of the new Mulsanne, the brand’s most exclusive car which represents Bentley’s pinnacle in car luxury. The company did not hold back in the creation of the Mulsanne, its flagship.

From its creation in Crewe, England, the Mulsanne is painstakingly handcrafted by the most skilled artisans, eventually creating a masterpiece – a testament to Bentley’s heritage. This would be the first time for the Mulsanne to be available in three models: the Mulsanne, Mulsanne Speed and Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase.

All three luxury cars are treated with the same level of unsurpassed craftsmanship and attention to detail that is a trademark of Bentley. However, each has unique abilities and attributes and is geared for a specific set of customer needs. For example, what sets the Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase apart is its lavish attention for the rear-seat occupant.

It comes with additional 250 mm legroom, sunroof for the rear compartment as well as airline-style extending legrests which provide the perfect atmosphere and certainly the most relaxed automobile ride possible.

On the other hand, the Mulsanne Speed is particularly centered on the driver with its high output of 537 PS (530 bhp/ 395 kW), capable of producing an impressive torque of 1,100 Nm (811 lbft). The awesome power of the car catapults it from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 4.9 seconds eventually reaching a dizzying 190 mph top speed.

The exterior of this new Mulsanne underwent some elegant design enhancements. A redesigned front-end (forward of the A pillar) as well as upgraded fenders, bonnet, grilles, lights, bumpers and radiator shell all seamlessly combine to give the new Mulsanne a distinctly modern yet elegant look.

The interior clearly expresses Bentley’s hallmark of luxury motoring: the finest handcrafted wood, metal fittings and luxurious leather. In addition, the new Mulsanne features new door trims and armrests, redesigned seats, unique glass switchgear and a record-breaking 24 color palette.

The new Mulsanne has also been technologically upgraded and now comes with a new touch screen infortainment system specially developed for the Mulsanne. Bentley Motors Chairman and CEO Wolfgang Durheimer states that the new Mulsanne represents the pinnacle of Bentley’s DNA – exquisite, individual and powerful.

The car offers that distinctly Bentley mix of performance and luxury. The new Mulsanne range will be unveiled for the first time at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show between March 1 and 13. Deliveries are expected to start this summer.

Technological Offerings

Every modern car must come with the latest of technological enhancements designed to make the driving experience a bit more enjoyable, safer and more convenient. The difference in the Bentley way is that while the offerings are certainly cutting-edge, they are presented to enhance the car’s luxurious quality as well.

For example, the new Bentley Mulsanne has a completely new infotainment system. The combined features will certainly push the standard for mobile audio and visual entertainment while at the same time, it offers state of the art navigational technology.

An all-new-screen-based infotainment platform is central to this new system with additional haptic controls, state of the art rear seat entertainment and classic analogue gauges. The 8” touch screen display is connected to a 60 GB solid-state hard drive for storing various media files for entertainment.

Driving safety is greatly enhanced with the High Beam Assist, which automatically switches between high beam and dipped headlights when oncoming vehicles are detected.

In addition, the high tech capability of this system is demonstrated by its ability to determine the vehicle speed and to correspondingly adapt the shape of the light among the three modes – Town, Country and Motorway. Another state of the art safety feature available in the new Mulsanne is the Blind Spot Warning system.

Between the speed of 1 km/h and 250 km/h, the system constantly monitors vehicles on their rear as well as in its blinds spots and calculates the possibility of a collision. The driver is then informed of the possibility via visual warnings and flashing lights in the door mirrors.

An Advanced Automatic Stability Control (ASC), which includes collision avoidance features, is installed in the new Mulsanne making it safer to drive. When it comes to entertainment, the new Mulsanne comes with the choice to have the world’s most powerful car OEM audio system – the Naim for Bentley Premium Audio.

The system is fully capable of replicating the highest audio frequencies with its impressive 20 speakers, 20 channels, 2,200 watt amplifier and Super Tweeter making it the most advanced and premium car audio system available. Occupants in the rear will not be left-out as they are provided with the Bentley Entertainment Tablet, a pair of 10.2” Android devices with 4G, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity located conveniently at the back of the front seats.

A single touch of a button deploys the screens from the stowed position – another display of Bentley’s legendary attention to detail. The Tablet features a Bentley-specific interface but can still be used away from the car with its access to over a million Apps including Skype, GooglePlay and Spotify.

The tablets are equipped with a standard 32 GB storage which can be expanded to 128 GB with the use of a Micro-SDXC card and feature USB ports and front-facing cameras.

Android tablets offer enhanced travel convenience with the capability of a new destination being sent to the Mulsanne’s navigation system. As entertainment tools, audio can be channeled to the car’s speakers while browsing is possible via the car’s 4G and WiFi enabling seamless connectivity even when on the move.

Exterior Design

At first glance, the new Bentley Mulsanne radiates a more modern yet elegant feel which was achieved by a fully redesigned front end. Prominently displayed at the front is the large stainless steel vertical-vane grille which is 80 mm wider than the previous model and is reminiscent of past great cars such as the 8 Litre 1930 Embiricos and R-Type Continental.

The Bentley matrix grille is visible through these vertical vanes. A stylish pair of floating all-LED headlamps is positioned on both sides of the vehicle’s front. These new headlights can aid in greatly increasing night vision as it comes with advanced adaptive technology that automatically adjusts the beam patterns for optimal effect depending on driving conditions.

New design features like the chrome-capped headlamp washers sit within the outer lamps and perfectly exemplify the attention to detail and precision craftsmanship Bentley is known for. A distinct styling element was added to the front end which was achieved by raising the outer lamps to make their bases line with the main headlights which forms a new horizontal line.

A greater road presence and visual harmony were achieved by the bonnet, one-piece bumper and radiator shell. This harmonious flow was then carried down to the lower vane-grille and flanked by the ‘B’ signature matrix elements before being dispersed to the corners by 53 mm on both sides.

A bright chrome finish to these design elements highlights the classy appeal of the exterior. A redesigned bumper with new tail lights completes the continuity of appearance to the rear of the vehicle. The bumper is 26 mm wider at the lower corners which create a light-catching feature line while the new tail lamps are continuous with the ‘B’ theme made more recognizable by the light guides.

Interior Design

The new Bentley Mulsanne has an outstanding interior appeal as well, with the famous Bentley reputation of providing the best car interior in the automotive industry. True to its reputation, utmost attention to detail was given, sparing nothing.

For instance, the luxurious soft-touch leather interior takes 150 hours of painstaking handcrafting skills to complete. New redesigned seats – the Musanne’s seats – are now the new benchmark for comfort and are available in two styles: fluted or quilted. Further enhancing the owner’s personal touches to the car is the choice of 24 hide colours and single or duotone finishes.

The cabin features elegant surfaces composed of hand-selected veneers totaling 40 pieces in all, with each piece handcrafted and shaped by Bentley’s skilled artisans.

Completing the Bentley interior elegance are the numerous luxurious touches found throughout the cabin: unique glass switchgear, traditional knurled controls and deep-pile carpets as well as highly-polished stainless steel.


New Mulsanne is a powerful car and features a mighty 6 3/4 litre V8 that can generate an impressive 512 PS (505 bhp / 377 kW) and 1,020 Nm (752 lb ft) of torque. An eight-speed ZF automatic transmission converts this raw power to motion which can be accessed a little over the rev range.

The result is a jaw dropping acceleration even with a slight nudge from the driver. The gap from 0 to 60 mph is a short one - a mere 5.1 seconds – while the top speed of 184 mph (296 km/h) would surely leave lesser cars in the dust.

In addition, the V8 engine comes with the latest technological engine innovations such as variable cam phasing and cylinder de-activation which improved fuel efficiency for the new Mulsanne to 19.3 mpg (14.6L/100 km) on the combined cycle while CO2 emission is measured at 342 g/km.

Complementing the new powerful engine is an all-new chassis with active engine mounts and suspension bushes. A smoother quieter ride is guaranteed with the latest Bentley noise absorption technology incorporated in the tyres, capable of reducing interior cabin noise by up to 4dBA.

The new Mulsanne is equipped with the Drive Dynamics Control System, which is controlled by a rotary switch mounted next to the gearshift selector. It comes in three standard modes- Bentley, Sport and Comfort – with each setting offering a carefully calibrated suspension and steering control.

Actually, a fourth mode is still available and offers the ultimate in tuning control which can be accessed via the multimedia system. A comfortable and refined ride is provided with the air suspension system with Continuous Damping Control (CDC).

The system even lowers the Mulsanne’s ride height at high speeds to reduce lift tendencies and improve car stability via a more aerodynamic airflow pattern.

Completing the performance enhancements for the new Mulsanne are the 20” alloy wheels with 265/45 ZR20 tyres assuring exceptional handling capability. Optional 21” wheels are likewise available in three styles and can be fitted with 265/40ZR 21 tyres.

The New Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase – Ultimate Rear Passenger Comfort

This new car has a very specific customer in mind – those who prefer to be driven by a chauffeur. The Bentley Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase offers its customers the best automobile ride there is that can only be described as a first-class air-travel experience on the road.

The Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase is 250 mm longer than that of the regular Mulsanne (from 3,266 mm to 3,516 mm). And that additional 250 mm is used solely for the pleasure of the rear-seat passenger as additional legroom.

This generous legroom actually makes the Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase the longest offering for luxury limousine in the world and certainly the most comfortable ride. Airline-style electronic legrests are installed into the two rear seats extending outward before pivoting which give rear-seat occupants the choice between upright, reclined and relaxed positions.

An elegant yet functional console in the finest veneer, glass, leather and metal separates the two rear seats and houses USB ports, pen holders, cup holders and stowage area. Time-pressed executives who want to be productive even while travelling will surely love the option of a deployable folding table.

Privacy is provided by electric curtains at the rear with the choice between black or champagne colour for the interior lining. A large sunroof over the rear cabin can be controlled by the passengers or the driver and can be tilted to allow natural lighting into the elegant Mulsanne interior. Further customization option includes a wide range of duo-tone exterior paint combination and a 21” wheel.

The New Mulsanne Speed – The perfect blend of Luxury and Driving Satisfaction

New Mulsanne Speed is obviously the most performance-oriented of the three variants. Its comes with a more powerful version of the Bentley 6 3/4 litre twin-turbo V8 engine which makes it a machine whose main focus is driving satisfaction.

The engine is capable of producing an amazing 537 PS (530 bhp / 395 kW) and a 1,100 Nm (811 lbft) torque with a selectable sports suspension, a combination that is set to deliver unparalleled performance with the added comfort and luxury – the perfect setting for a truly exhilarating ride.

The gap between 0 to 60 mph is even shorter in this one – a mere 4.8 seconds or 0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds. Its top speed of 190 mph (305 km/h) is unheard of before in this ultra-luxury sedan category. To enhance driving pleasure, the awesome power of the engine is paired with a recalibrated ZF 8-speed gearbox.

The driver is even more in control of the car as the gear is optimized for efficient use of the increased output while designed to be super responsive. A Sport suspension mode geared toward driver satisfaction is part of the package which allows for a greater feedback and accuracy.

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