We take a drive in the luxurious and powerful 2015 Bentley Mulsanne Speed. It's got 530 horsepower, 811 pound-feet of torque, and a nearly $400,000 price tag.
What you see above is the Bentley Grand Convertible, live from the Los Angeles Auto Show. It's basically a droptop version of the Mulsanne Speed, which would seem to be a foregone conclusion for production, but apparently isn't, according to Bentley Chairman and CEO, Wolfgang Dürheimer.
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.
Five years ago, when Bentley was preparing its farewell shindig for the Arnage, reports were that the Arnage's coupe and convertible siblings, the Brooklands and Azure, would get replacements on the Mulsanne platform. Obviously, that hasn't happened, although we were teased with the Mulsanne Vision Concept in 2012. Then, just this summer, we were again teased with rumors of a Brooklands and Azure one-two punch. While it still hasn't happened yet, Bentley's unveiling of the Grand Convertible seem
Eight hundred and eleven pound-feet of torque. Really, that's all you need to know about the 2015 Bentley Mulsanne Speed. It's the same ultra-luxurious cruiser that we've enjoyed for a few years now, but the crew in Crewe has upgraded its engine to create absolutely astonishing performance.
Big plans are afoot at Bentley. The quintessentially British automaker has just about signed off on the final version of its new SUV, and will surely roll out more versions of the Continental in the coming years, but that's not all. It's said to be considering a new sports coupe smaller than the Continental GT, but the latest reports coming in from the UK suggest that it also has plans for the Mulsanne's platform.
Between three distinct body styles and numerous engine specifications, Bentley has made more versions of the Continental over the years than we would care to count. But one thing it has, by and (very) large left alone is the Mulsanne. Sure, it's done some special editions and some extra equipment packages – it's even toyed with the idea of a two-door convertible version – but at the end of the day, the Mulsanne soldiers on as a four-door sedan with one engine and one engine alone. Th
Since taking over Bentley, the Volkswagen Group has done a lot to modernize the marque and its products. And no small part of that came down to the engines. Under VW stewardship, Bentley introduced its ubiquitous W12 that makes it the largest producer of twelve-cylinder engines in the world. It then rolled out a smaller V8 co-developed with Audi that offers nearly all the benefits of the larger twelve but with less weight and better fuel economy. There's even been talk of hybrids and diesels. Bu
Bentley Director of Design Luc Donckerwolke certainly thinks highly of the vehicles he creates. "We are the only ones that offer performance compatible with luxury," he says in Intelligent Details, a new short documentary commissioned by the brand. While that might be a bit hyperbolic (the Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG says hello), the company does have a long history of blending elegant interiors, sophisticated exteriors and powerful engines. The film examines how crafting that works in the modern worl
The top end of the new car market seldom seems to need much justification for rolling out a new special edition – other than bringing in a few extra bucks and making its customers feel extra special in the process. Bentley, for its part, is celebrating its 95th anniversary this year, and to mark the occasion has released a special edition of its top-of-the-line Mulsanne saloon.
From its more mainstream, popular origins in the original Honda Insight and Toyota Prius, the hybrid powertrain has worked its way up to the the corner office, the big chair, the top slot in the corporation. Bentley has announced that it will introduce a plug-in hybrid option on its SUV due in 2017. Before then, we'll see what an electrically assisted Bentley looks like at the Beijing Motor Show when the Crewe automaker shows off a copper-accented Mulsanne that's been reworked into its Hybrid Co
Bentley doesn't do quite as many special editions for local markets as Rolls-Royce does, and when it does, they're usually based on the Continental range. But the new Shaheen edition which Bentley unveiled at the Dubai Motor Show is based on its flagship sedan, the Mulsanne.
Bentley purists have probably been tearing their hair out since we got our first glimpse of the EXP 9 F SUV Concept. "A Bentley SUV? " you could almost hear them saying, incredulous to the idea that an automaker actually wants to make money. Now, word is that the British brand might be jumping on the four-door-coupe bandwagon. The car, which would slot in below the Continental GT, and act as the new base model, would compete with the BMW M6 Gran Coupe and Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG, according to Ca
Bentley and Rolls-Royce may be as direct as competitors get, but that doesn't mean they go head-to-head on every model. Bentley is arguably more focused on its Continental line, with the pricier Mulsanne branching off of it. Rolls-Royce, meanwhile, only recently expanded (relatively) down-market with the Wraith and the Ghost on which it's based. For Rolls, it's long been about the Phantom and its coupe and convertible variants. And Bentley doesn't pose much of a challenge in that stratospheric s
Bentley has made good on its promise to show off its Mulsanne Le Mans Limited Edition here at Pebble Beach, and the good news is that the thing is a far less aggressively green than we'd been led to believe. In fact, the verdant Mulsanne looks downright proper when parked with Bentley historics as context.
We already knew Bentley was planning a new Le Mans Limited Edition for its flagship Mulsanne, but we finally have our first info and images for this new model that celebrates the 90th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Fortunately, since these two studio images surely don't do the Mulsanne proper justice, it will be unveiled this week at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, and we'll be there to check it out.