…Big Ben returns with a vengeance
The 2015 Bentley Mulsanne Speed represents the signature Flagship in its most provocative form. The Mulsanne is the very essence of the brand. It was hard to make a good thing better, so Big Ben compromised and made the better best. Welcome to the special world of Bentley. The new Mulsanne Speed is the definitive performance saloon that can be as docile as a summer breeze…or fierce and unrelenting as a hurricane – high revs at low rpm is a Bentley hallmark.
Think of Big Ben as the most distinguished thoroughbred at the black-tie affair; all decked out in a tuxedo…one would never guess this limo sprints from 0-60 mph faster than you can read this sentence. The legendary alloy 6.75 litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine has been further refined making the Bentley Mulsanne Speed the fastest ultra-luxury saloon in the world. The legend of Big Ben continues…see, there IS life after Rolls Royce –
Signature exterior features includes a dark tint finish applied to the exterior stainless-steel matrix grilles. It uses a process unique to the industry. The radiator grille, lower bumper grilles, and wing vents all feature this exquisite treatment. The distinctive projector headlamps and the elegant floating ellipse-style taillamps are also finished with the exclusive dark tint. It creates a special effect at night. The 21” wheels are available in a painted, polished, and dark tint with machined accent finishes. The distinctive chrome exhaust ports are designed to blend into the taillamps with the same shape as the unique taillamp design. Special stainless-steel “Speed” badging is affixed to the front fenders and door tread sill plates identifying the limited edition.
Four new colors are introduced exclusively for the Mulsanne and Mulsanne Speed. Spectre, Candy Red, Camel, and Marlin are all equally enchanting with each giving the car its own identity. The Mulsanne is a completely bespoke saloon. No two Bentleys will ever be alike with 25 standard shades, an optional range of over 100 colors, and a fully bespoke paint-matching service is available upon request.
The Mulsanne Speed is fitted with a uniquely contemporary cabin that is sporting without sacrificing the luxury that is synonymous with Bentley. A new two-tone with unique color split and new stitch lines balance a diamond-quilted light color hide with a darker smooth hide. A Bentley patented technical veneer is available which Piano Black panels are expertly handcrafted with carbon-fibre inlays. These new panels are exclusive to the Mulsanne Speed. There are 24 different colors for leather, six duo-tone selections, and ten different veneers available. The new shade of “Camel” matches the new exterior color of the same. Tamo Ash is a new veneer introduced for the Mulsanne
The formidable Mulliner Driving Specification comes standard with the Mulsanne Speed. Signature handcrafted diamond quilting augments the door panels and upholstery, with an indented headlining. Bentley hand embroidered flying “B” emblems adorn the head restraints. Drilled alloy sports foot pedals, a coined finish to interior door handles, knurled sports gear lever, and “organ stop” ventilation controls adds the grand touring touch.
Since the Mulsanne speed is a totally bespoke automobile, its personalization can be as unique as its owner. Big Ben can be equipped as a rolling board room for the executive that must work while traveling. There’s a 60 GB on-board hard drive in the boot. Its Wi-Fi system uses a dedicated router to keep the car connected to the outside world.
If it’s entertainment that is required, a rear seat Entertainment system is available. It is equipped with two 8” monitors and Bluetooth headphones. Electrically operated tables with connections for iPads and two keyboards can be fitted to the rear of the front seats. A 2,200 watt Naim for Bentley premium audio system may be ordered to expand the standard 14-speaker system. The Bentley Mulsanne Speed offers a comfortable and refined driving experience.
The iconic 6.75 litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine has been re-engineered. Upgrades include an extensive re-calibration of the engine management system. It features an all-new combustion chamber, inlet ports, fuel injectors, spark plugs, and a new compression ratio to accommodate the added power. New variable valve timing and optimized turbocharger control increases engine torque to record levels.
The engine produces 530 hp with a top speed of 190 mph. It packs a prolific punch with 1,100 Nm of peak torque at a mere 1,750 rpm. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in just 4.8 seconds. Big Ben has always moved its occupants with aplomb…
The earth-shattering performance is due in no small part to its upgraded suspension. It is even more driver-focused than previous Mulsanne models. “Bentley” and “Comfort” modes present its limo attributes. The “Sport” mode offers more of a sport/touring orientation with a stiffer attitude to manage the big guy’s body control and steering dynamics. The “Custom” setting allows the driver to design the ride to his taste; steering, chassis, and engine may be coordinated per driver’s preferences. The new “S” mode expands the driver’s control as it maintains the engine idle speed above 2,000 rpm ensuring the twin-turbochargers are ready to deliver instantaneous performance.
For economy, the engine is equipped with cylinder deactivation. Under light loads, the engine shuts down four of the eight cylinders. The system has been refined for smoother transitions between V8 & V4 operation. New gearbox logic and engine hardware improvements gives a new level of efficiency for the trusty 6.75 litre V8. The recalibrated gearbox is optimized for the increased torque. This results in an immediate delivery of torque upon throttle application.
The 2015 Bentley Mulsanne Speed at the Paris Motor Show
The legend of Big Ben continues. The Bentley Mulsanne Speed is the quintessential grand tourer. Its 530 hp V8 qualifies it as the world’s fastest ultra-luxury saloon. The re-engineered powertrain and chassis refinement offers a driver-tailored experience. This new Bentley Flagship has a unique duality; it can change from an avant-garde performance saloon into an elegantly refined limousine. With its re-engineered V8, new engine management hardware, and new gearbox, it achieves a new level of efficiency. Its cutting-edge technology, legendary comfort & convenience features, combined with exemplary British hand-crafting makes the 2015 Mulsanne Speed a contemporary reinterpretation of the Bentley Flagship.
Photos courtesy Bentley Media Club, Park Ward Motors Museum, Daniel Schmitt
2015 Bentley Mulsanne Speed