With the Bentley GT3 racecar's busted diff still smoking, we grab the keys to the roadgoing GT3-R and get one hell of a consolation test.
Why does the Bentley Mulsanne Speed exist? Sam Graham, product line director for the Mulsanne, tells us Bentley's Western customers demanded it, many driven by memories of the Arnage T – the hotted-up version of the Arnage R. The Arnage T, you may remember, arrived in 2002 and threw down 459 horsepower and 645 pound-feet of torque on its way to being billed the most powerful production Bentley ever. Today's Mulsanne Speed picks up the torch and takes it all the way to the Olympic stadium.
There are few things in this world I enjoy more than an enthusiastic drive down tree-lined backroads on a warm summer evening. If you're familiar with the geographic location of Detroit, you won't be shocked to learn that we don't have the sort of very-involving roads found all throughout California and other gorgeous parts of the country, but we still have some stretches of pavement that can be pretty darn fun when driven in the right car. The vast majority of our scenic roads, however, are of
Despite Bentley's reputation as a holier-than-thou, ultra-luxury brand, at the end of the day, the Big B is still a business. As such, ongoing trends like powertrain downsizing and model range expansion are more prevalent at Bentley than ever. Just look at the Continental range – what started as the GT W12 has expanded into the GTC W12, GT V8, GT V8 S, GTC V8, GTC V8 S, GT Speed and GTC Speed. Talk about "have it your way."
Bentley still appeals to those with an appreciation for strong, Old World traditionalism. Cars wearing the storied Flying B have been discussed in wood-paneled drawing rooms by men wearing earthy tweeds and corduroy through clouds of fragrant cigar and pipe smoke, for decades. It is a company that has spent nearly 100 years building cost-no-object automobiles, for rich drivers who require a tremendous way to waft above the Sturm und Drang of mortal motoring.
Despite having a rich history of creating comfortable cars for the chauffeured elite, Bentley has also had an edge on performance that its former compadres at Rolls-Royce could not come close to. Because while the Rollers may have been the better cars to be driven in (and some would argue, they still are), the Bentleys were better to drive.
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