If the Bentley Mulsanne Convertible is approved for production later this year, it will be priced at higher than £275,000. Bentley’s outgoing chief Wolfgang Dürheimer referred to this model as “a pinnacle car” for Bentley. However, sources say that even if it gets the go signal right now, it will take almost two years before it begins production, says Autocar.
At the recent Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, a mock-up of the cabrio was shown to determine how customers thought about its interior and exterior finishes and new materials as part of the ongoing development process. It’s possible that its interior will be made more distinct from that of the Mulsanne saloon. Sources said that the cabrio will utilize the saloon’s one-of-a-kind platform, with a wheelbase decreased by around 150mm.
It will still be long between the wheels at 3.1m, permitting a spacious rear cabin. The windscreen of the convertible will also be marginally lower. However, it’s believed to have the same front-end styling as the saloon and will be unique from the A-pillars rearwards.
It has engineered long new frameless doors and a fabric roof. Its rear wings feature a styling flourish reminiscent of the 1950s Bentley R Type. Even if the Mulsanne’s classic twin-turbo 6.75-litre V8 engine will originally be the core powerplant, a new V12 will be available as an option for both the cabrio and saloon.
A simple look at how the new Mulsanne from Bentley has been designed and it is clear that it has combination of sportiness, solidity, and a coach-built elegance. Similar to the S-Type models released by Bentley during the 1950s, the front section of the Mulsanne is dominated by two features. The first is the standard matrix grille with the second is the classic round inner headlamps made more pronounced.
The latter in particular has chrome surrounds and on either side are two outboard lamp clusters, albeit smaller. However, they all come with the latest in lighting technology. As an option, customers can have the iconic retractable radiator 'Flying B' mascot. In developing the new Mulsanne, the design team was inspired to come out with a unique appearance for the new vehicle, according to Design Director Dirk van Braeckel.
He added that the chance to design a new Bentley is an opportunity few designers will ever get. As such, the team wanted to come out with a sculpted form that had the traditional cues of classic Bentleys and they then combined it with more contemporary lines. The result would be a model that would allow the brand to move forward to the 21st century with more confidence, Director van Braeckel added further.
The combination of a long bonnet and a long overhang in the rear with a short overhang for the front enabled it to show not just a sense of movement but of power as well. This feel is strengthened with the muscular haunches and lines that have been sharply sculptured. Lines begin from the front wings and elegantly flow to the rear. Reinforcing further the athletic and powerful stance is the 20-inch wheels which has its own distinct design.
Bentley though is offering a 21-inch version as an option. According to Bentley, the body will be made at the new manufacturing facility located at the Crewe headquarter.
This is the same area where the brand continues to utilize traditional metalworking skills, skills that have been developed for at least 60 years. It will be extensively used on the model’s nine-week build process. While this may appear to be different from making the usual volume-production vehicle, it is undoubtedly a Bentley characteristic.