We drive a Bentley on this episode of The List.
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
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