Bentley Mulsanne

The super luxurious Bentley MulsanneAfter decades in the shadow of Rolls Royce limousines, the Bentley has now emerged as a magnificent luxury vehicle in its own right. With the Mulsanne, Bentley is reviving the heyday of the marque.

Not since the legendary Continental of the 1950s have Bentleys looked so good. The renaissance of the brand began with the beautifully styled and engineered Continental, no doubt inspired by its famous namesake. It is good to see that Bentley have built upon the success of that model to allow its design style to evolve into something truly special. That something is the Mulsanne, itself the bearer of a name laden with history, tradition and a reputation for motoring excellence.

Released this year, the Bentley Mulsanne is a car that evokes a sense of grace produced by lines that are seductive and in equilibrium. Its beauty lies in a harmony of design that makes this car at once modern and classical – in other words, timeless. Like all greats, it embodies the tradition of the badge it carries whilst also carrying that name into the future. Where some limousines are poorly balanced, with kitsch and comforts slapped on like too much makeup on an ageing beauty queen, the Mulsanne is stripped-down loveliness that requires no dressing up.

More than just a limousine, it is sporty enough to double as a Grand Tourer, with dynamics and power to match. In the words of the company founder, W.O. Bentley, “The thrill of effortless acceleration in a refined motor car is exhilarating.” Indeed, the spirit of this legendary carmaker lives on in the Mulsanne, which does its 1930s namesake proud. It is, in fact, a highpoint in British car design, a model so rich with the virtues of that country’s proud tradition that you would never know that Bentley belongs to the Volkswagen group.

The emblematic Bentley bonnet mascotExcept for the power plant, that is. Germany’s own reputation for technology has been visited upon this belle voiture to ensure it is as efficient and reliable as it is powerful and smooth. The surge in power, when requested, is provided by a V8 6,75-litre twin-turbo engine that produces 505 hp and 1020 Nm of torque. The speed and drive experience match these statistics, though naturally the Mulsanne is also capable of gliding effortlessly through traffic, so you can read your newspaper without spilling your coffee. As for emissions, there is no need to feel bashful, for they are very much in the 21st century range.

Classic opulence in a modern world
The technology and gadgetry of this car may be avant-garde but inside you relive the sumptuous elegance of the classical era. In the Mulsanne the two come together in symbiosis. The finishing, from the rounded dials set in hand-worked wood and the chrome detailing to the hand-stitched leather, celebrates the finest British tradition, for where they struggle to make mass-produced cars they have always excelled at creating luxurious and sports models. The result is a car that has all the presence, opulence and breeding of a limousine yet is somehow more approachable.

The Mulsanne draws you in – into its sumptuous interior, behind its steering wheel and into those mesmerising headlights. This is a car that doesn’t take itself too seriously yet is all the more impressive for it. The eye searches it out, as if in reflex, stealing a glance at those curves and the promise of what’s inside, but this Grand Tourer in the finest traditions is an exclusive experience reserved for a lucky few. May they appreciate what they are about to enjoy.

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