• Sep 9, 2009
2010 Bentley Mulsanne at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel - click above image for hi-res gallery

Bentley invited a few of us auto journo types down to the decadently posh Beverly Wilshire Hotel to meet its COO Christophe Georges and admire the company's new super land yacht, the 2010 Bentley Mulsanne. Not only that, but they spilled the beans on all the juicy technical details that makes the Mulsanne, well, special. And please trust us, the Mulsanne is special.

One small catch, however. All them juicy details are embargoed until next week during the Frankfurt Motor Show. So even though we know the exact, staggering amount of power the Mulsanne will be sending to its rear wheels – and trust us again, it is staggering – we can't tell you. Yet. Infuriating, no? But, we did learn a couple of juicy details that we can share with you in this here teaser post. Better than nothing, right?

First and foremost, we sat in the car, front and back. The smell, you will not believe the smell. With the Mulsanne, Bentley has reverted back to the leather tanning process that the firm employed pre-1950. And the aroma will make vegetarians cry. It's that wonderful. Rich, opulent, intoxicating – this folks is what money smells like. Old money. Real money. Just fantastic.

The question then, besides that wonderful musky scent, is why revert back to such an old technique? In the words of COO Georges, "The Mulsanne is the purest Bentley ever. The best of British motoring." They brought the Mulsanne to Beverly Hills because California is their biggest U.S. market, and the U.S. market is their biggest world market. After we left, Bentley customers were brought in to ooh and ahh the new super sedan.

The Mulsanne is Bentley's first real attempt to get back to its roots. It seeks to accomplish three important things. The first is to be a link to Bentley DNA of yore, specifically the wonderful but back-stabbed by fate 8 Litre. It's a testament to the cars piloted by W.O. and the rest of the Bentley Boys, like Woolf Barnato; to the glorious machines described by Ettore Bugatti as "the fastest lorries in the world" but that still managed to keep winning and winning at Le Mans. Second, the Mulsanne is free of compromises. Again, it's very frustrating that we can't share any details with you right now, but let's just say we didn't notice too many compromises.

"Bentleys don't generate envy. They generate admiration."
- Bentley COO Christophe Georges
Third, the Mulsanne, and really all Bentley products going forward, must remain relevant in regards to green technology. And while a hybrid Bentley makes as much sense a screen doors on a submarine (and we were assured the same is true for diesel), starting in 2012 all Bentleys will be 15 more efficient than the outgoing Arnage... We think it's safe to tell you that.

And while we can't tell you (sigh) what's under the hood (besides the already known fact that it's a V8), we can tell you that a briefcase holds all the shared parts between the old 6.75-liter and whatever the new one is. The chassis is also brand new, totally bespoke and unique to the Mulsanne "for now." When we pressed Bentley on what exactly the "for now" caveat meant, they said that a coupe and/or a convertible could be in the platform's future. When we pressed them further on the possibility that the Mulsanne's chassis might actually underpin the much rumored Bugatti Bordeaux, they replied simply that if someone above them at VAG decided to do so, it was out of their hands. Fair enough.

What else can we say? The Mulsanne will go on sale in Q3 of 2010. Price? Nothing firm, but it's A) more than you got, and B) the price will be reflective of the best of British motoring. Sounds like about $350,000 to us, but who knows? The car is hand built in a new body shop at the company's Crewe factory. We asked how they will be positioning the Mulsanne against its natural arch-rival, the Rolls-Royce Phantom? Said Georges, "In one you are driven. The other you drive." Oh snap!

He continued, "Bentleys don't generate envy. They generate admiration." Urm, we'll get back to Monsieur Georges on that one. In fact ,once the motoring public at large gets a load of the Mulsanne's specs, we're thinking there's going to be a whole lot of generated envy. Until Frankfurt.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't think its as bad as everyone is saying, but it isn't exactly a timeless classic either.

      None of the new superluxe cars come close to matching the unparalleled elegance of their pre-and-post war forebearers. Is it the result of designers being un-educated in schools of classical beauty? Or is it the shareholders demanding profits - forcing the manufacturers to take conservative paths as a result?

      Either way, I hope that future materials and construction techniques can a herald a return to the art, drama and theater that these luxury cars once commanded. Just because less than .1% of the world can afford one doesn't mean we should all be denied a chance to see something truly beautiful on the road.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I love everything about this car, well, that I know of. I think its looks and its price is what sets it apart from lesser automobiles. I can't wait for more details!
      Oh, and Jonny Lieberman, I just love your style!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Still an ugly car. It looks like it's depressed from the front.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The high grille is for clearing the road of dirty peasants, if the giant headlights are not able to shine them away.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I recollect telling my friend that statement about the grills of bentleys being so large as to make sure that no peasants ruin the comfort of the ride.

        She laughed, then we sat inside one and felt the opulence that is a 300,000$ Bentley. Glorious, especially for a broke a** med student.
      • 5 Years Ago
      they need to change the head lights
      • 5 Years Ago
      Will they be showing one at the local Wal-Mart accompannied by an extra greeter?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I hope they get someone to fix the slight crease (dent) on the left front wheel arch. At least it looks like a dent.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The colour of the car isn't flattering.

      Imagine it in a deep dark green or blue, that wouldmake it look ten times better... but the front still wont look quite right IMO. An early face-lift is certain.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks better than the ugly Maybach.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This car is not meant for 99.9% of Autoblog readers (myself included). In fact it's not meant for 99.9% of the world.

      the 0.1% it is meant for, will buy this anyway, not for its staggering good looks, but because they can.

      So much like many of the above $100,000 cars, no matter how ugly you/everyone thinks they are, they're still going to sell.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "the 0.1% it is meant for, will buy this anyway, not for its staggering good looks, but because they want to be seen driving a Bentley. "

        fixed that for you.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This car looks like it has suffered a stroke and now has a droopy eye....
      • 5 Years Ago
      Very classy and I can't wait for the juicy details of what's underhood!
      • 5 Years Ago
      The front is agreeably ugly. However, I do like the profile of this car. The rear looks decent at best. The fact that the main headlights are larger is what kills this car. They are too big.
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