Bentley celebrates Diamond Jubilee of HM The Queen with 60 special Mulsannes

Article by Christian A., on April 23, 2012

Bentley introduced the first example of its Mulsanne Diamond Jubilee Edition at the gala opening of one of the biggest Bentley dealerships in the world located in the cosmopolitan Sanlitun district in Beijing. The occasion that Bentley and its customers are celebrating is the birthday of the Queen as well as her Diamond Jubilee year.

The Mulsanne Diamond Jubilee Edition was designed by the craftsmen and women of Bentley’s Mulliner division. They had also developed the State Limousine given to Queen Elizabeth II in 2002. There would only be 60 examples of the Mulsanne Diamond Jubilee Edition built. Each of the 60 cars represents a year of Her Majesty’s reign. These Bentleys stand out due to a variety of exquisite, handcrafted features that pay tribute to the Jubilee such as the bespoke embroidery to all four headrests with the use of gold stitching, veneered picnic tables in the rear cabin that have a gold overlay showing a royal carriage meant for the grand occasions of state.

It also comes with luxurious, hide cushions with the same motif. These Mulsanne models also have two attractive, highly-polished stainless steel treadplate plaques that have the famous ‘Bentley Mulliner, England’ script and ‘Diamond Jubilee Edition’. Mulliner became famous when the family was tasked to make carriages for the Royal Mail in 1760. The first cars referred to back then as the new “horseless carriage” had their coachwork handcrafted by Mulliner in the late 19th Century. Mulliner was associated with Bentley ever since the start of the marque’s story when W.O. Bentley got Mulliner to make the bodywork for the EXP1.

Their team-up evolved and they built many legendary Bentley designs as well as the streamlined contours of the revolutionary 1952 R-Type Continental. The Mulliner team, which is now known as Bentley Mulliner and a wholly-owned division of Bentley Motors, provides a specialist personal commissioning department for Bentley customers and limited edition cars.

The Diamond Jubilee Edition cars feature a whole spectrum of paint and hide colors that make them distinctive from other Bentley models. And to emphasize the British connection, they stylishly use different combinations and shades of red, white and blue (the Union Flag colors). Two unique Bentley ‘B’ badges placed on each ‘D’ pillar as well as some Single Fine Lines applied by the hand using these same three colors offer an elegant finishing touch.

The new Bentley Mulsanne design uniquely fuses athleticism, refinement, and stability. Much like the 1950s’ Bentley S-Type, the Mulsanne’s highlights are a strong front styled with the classic Bentley matrix grille and dominant, classic chrome-rimmed round inner headlamps, with two, smaller outboard lamp clusters on each side, all with the latest lighting technology. The trademark 'Flying B' retractable radiator mascot is an available option.

A long bonnet, short overhanging front, and long overhanging rear conveys power and drive, strengthened by well-developed haunches and clean, sculpted lines flowing gracefully from front to rear. Specially designed 20-inch wheels (and optional 21-inch) underpin the Mulsanne's strong, sporty stance.

A new manufacturing facility at Bentley's headquarters in Crewe is where the body is made. This is where traditional metalworking that has been developing over sixty years is still extensively used in the nine-week build. As is the true Bentley essence, it is the polar opposite to producing vehicles in volume.

Coachwork fully envelopes the rear screen, providing a continuous, faultless line to the rear to complement the exquisite D-pillars. These creations are only possible from skilled coach builders. The Mulsanne’s construction consists of hand spot-welds and hand-brazed panel joints, all enhancing the 'hewn from solid' look and creating an extraordinarily strong body.

The aluminium front wings are so complex that they would be impossible with normal pressing techniques. They are made with superforming, a technology normally used in the aerospace sector. The wings become lighter and stiffer and create a superbly defined surface. Mass is decreased through the use of other lightweight materials, including composite bootlid, wherever possible without giving up quality.

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