Archive for Bentley Mulsanne Speed

2017 Bentley Mulsanne: A Trilogy of Luxury

Posted in Bentley, Editorials, Extreme Luxury, Luxury Sedans with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2016 by 99MilesPerHour

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“Big Ben’s” rise to ultimate success reads like a modern-day “Cinderfella” story. Poor little understudy, Bentley…was always in the shadows. As its wicked step sibling – Rolls Royce – rode off on its high horse stealing the publicity and limelight…Bentley was left behind to clean the stables. The once formidable track star – which negotiated the chicanes and the Mulsanne Straight winning numerous events in the grueling 24 hours of LeMans – was reduced to a badge engineered clone. Today’s Bentley…the all-new Bentley – is now at home behind gated estates AND is parked right beside Rolls Royce at the country club sharing the spotlight equally.

Bentley has catapulted from being a humble Rolls Royce throwback…straight to eminent immortality. The flagship of the fleet is the iconic Bentley Mulsanne. It has swiftly established its reputation in the ultra-luxury car segment being part limousine and part performance saloon. The ultra-exclusive Bentley Mulsanne is one of the world’s fastest four-door saloons. “Big Ben” is back with a vengeance and a thirst for adventure. It has carved its own niche as a new breed of luxury with three distinctive models: Mulsanne, Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase, and Mulsanne Speed. This is a unique Trilogy of Luxury – each offers its own poised dignity which is a hallmark of the brand.

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Alluring new beauty

The Mulsanne totally disregards status quo. Since its inception, it has created its own unique manner of exclusivity in a niche no other motorcar can fill. For 2017, the Bentley Mulsanne features refined new beauty. Its coachwork has been re-tooled for a familiar yet dramatically new appearance. The long, low, wind-cheating architecture draws from its retrospective heritage. The bodywork is etched with a symphony of lines that appear never beginning and never-ending forcing the eyes to roam its entirety in a single appraisal.

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Its facelift creates even more exquisite beauty. Mulsanne represents the pinnacle of elegance in ultra-luxury motoring. Its new refinement begins with a restyled front end ensemble. Everything in front of the “A” pillars has been refreshed adding graceful definition. Mulsanne’s signature styling has been retained yet tastefully updated.

The elegant redesign echoes classic Bentley styling cues. The bold new attributes features all-new front wings and bonnet. Its classic grille work has changed from the previous matrix design to a distinctive wider framed design with dominant vertical stainless-steel vanes. Its familiar LED projector headlamps proudly features the Bentley name. The grille work repeats below the impact-resistant bumper with symmetrical vents for the air induction system.

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Subtle refinement adds panache to the rear end ensemble. Newly designed taillamps highlight Mulsanne’s sculpted look. The previous ellipse style taillamps are replaced with a dramatic LED design which reveals the famous “B” motif. The discreetly modified profile gives Mulsanne a prominent, more upright appeal. Understated dual stainless-steel exhaust ports adds the finishing touch of class.

Superb engineering

The familiar silhouette has undergone a subtle enhancement. Its chiseled new definition adds unique character. Its shoulders are squared off to augment a sweeping new elegance. The side strake vents sports an integrated “B” into its stainless-steel charm. Mulsanne’s beauty is composed of a galvanized steel bodyshell with its front wings, hood and doors made from aluminium. The SMC (Sheet Molding Compound) composite bootlid has an integrated antenna.

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Mulsanne is built like no other. Bentley’s process of hand-brazing yields perfect joins around intricate curves. The bonnet, boot lid, doors, and front wings are crafted using the “Superform Process.” This patented system creates complex panels from a single sheet of product to eliminate body seams and welds. This feature not only eliminates areas for corrosion but also aids aerodynamic efficiency. Each Mulsanne is a consummate blend of design excellence, advanced engineering, and of course… exemplary fit and finish.

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Luxury and innovation

Mulsanne is a showcase of Bentley superlatives. Evolution plays an important role in the continual strive for excellence. The company flagship is one of the world’s most spacious and splendidly appointed saloons. It offers more than inert luxury; it cossets its passengers in technological sophistication. Intelligent electronics and controls assist the driver and elevates passenger comfort.

Advanced chassis refinement with more efficient air springs and hydraulically damped sub-frames eliminates noise 4 decibels more than the previous model. Noise absorbing technology in the tires results in a 50% decrease in peak rolling noise. Mulsanne’s formidable V8 does its part by reducing noise another 25 decibels using a closed loop system to cancel vibration.

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The most elegant occasion seldom surpass the splendor of the journey in the Bentley Mulsanne that took you there. The epochal Bentley brand is epitomized by the luxury and distinction of the Mulsanne. Its world-class attributes are further exemplified offering three unique expressions of this elite flagship. Each shares the unparalleled opulence that is the essence of the brand.

Mulsanne…Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase…and Mulsanne Speed all create a delightful agony of choice. Whatever model is chosen, rest assured…it will move over the road with an effortless feeling of mastery that confirms its place as the ultimate statement of Bentley engineering. They are three of the most ambitious four-door luxury saloons the world has to offer –

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Mulsanne standard wheelbase is contemporary luxury that methodically repeals the laws governing saloons in its class. This is high performance cloaked in absolute respectability. It cossets its occupants in an exclusive world of supple natural grain leather and rich handcrafted veneers. Most every power assist imaginable is standard fare to augment comfort and convenience.

The Mulsanne received cabin updates for the 2017 model year. Redesigned seats, door trim, armrests, and unique glass switch gear makes it even more opulent. In addition to 24 exquisite hide colors, Mulsanne features an all-new infotainment system and navigation technology. State of the art audio and visual equipment is available to tailor the entertainment system to the owner’s requisites. The Bentley Mulsanne can serve with equal distinction as a high performance touring saloon or the varying roles demanded of a family sedan.

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Luxury with an emphasis on the rear passenger compartment is important to those who prefer to be driven about in style. Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase is 9.8” longer than the standard saloon. This means…rear seat passengers have more legroom and room for special appointments.

Limousine-style seating makes use of the extra inches by incorporating power assisted leg rests into the base of the aircraft inspired lounge seats. These extend outward pivoting as recliners. They make the special world of Mulsanne even more so. This extra exclusive cabin is a 2+2 configuration with front and rear center consoles.

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The exclusivity is augmented with options to make the Mulsanne EWB saloon a highly bespoke masterpiece. Electric rear seat curtains may be requested with a black or champagne lining for the ultimate in privacy. Both rear seats can be ordered with deployable folding tables. A large glass sun roof over the rear cabin may be operated by passengers or the driver. It tilts and slides with an Alcantara sun blind to control light entering the cabin. The extra special accoutrements focused upon the rear seat passenger compartment sets this personal limousine apart from the standard saloon. Bentley Mulsanne is the quintessential flagship replete with an elegant flair all its own. The Mulsanne EWB saloon is luxury and elegance on the grand Bentley scale…in the grand Bentley manner –

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…welcome to elite sophistication

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Rear seat passengers benefit from the all-new “Bentley Entertainment Tablet.” A pair of 10.2” Android devices with 4G Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capability are integrated into the front seat backs and deploy at the touch of a button. The Android powered tablets feature Bentley-specific interface with access to over one million Android Apps.

They may also be used away from the car. Each tablet has 32GB on-board storage capability. The system interfaces with the car’s navigation system. Audio/Visual streaming capability is included as part of the Mulsanne’s inter-connectivity along with internet browsing. With a motorcar as highly bespoke as Mulsanne, the client may design their own exclusive suite of infotainment to interface with home or office systems.

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Mulsanne EWB is the epitome of executive-class luxury

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The famous 1929 “Blue Train” Bentley

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Introducing one of the fastest production limos in the world

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The formidable Mulsanne Speed

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The return of the silent sports car…

Mulsanne nomenclature adorned a new breed of Bentley supercars beginning the 1981 model year. Bentley Mulsanne was marketed as “The return of the silent sports car.” This spectacular motorcar revived the Grand Touring tradition with high style and a prolific presence few cars can compete… 

It targets the driver who demands luxury with extraordinary performance combined with European handling and finesse. This is the ultimate statement of Bentley sporting philosophy. The Mulsanne is named after a portion of the tracks at LeMans where drivers reach their highest speeds known as “The Mulsanne Straight.”

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The 2014 Mulsanne Speed blew the doors off its competition

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This is the ride for executives who work…quickly – 

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The illustrious Mulsanne Speed became the most spirited contemporary Bentley model joining the ranks for the 2014 model year. Mulsanne Speed for 2017 is a pulse-invigorating performance saloon that offers substantially more than performance. Talented artisans handcraft rare veneers, high quality natural grain hides, and plush pile carpets into a cabin of unsurpassed comfort and distinction.

Mulsanne Speed remains true to form being a fast sporting machine built in the classic European tradition. Performance, impressive road capabilities, silence, and superb comfort come together in the newest of a historic and elegant line of motorcars that have made Bentley the definitive choice among enthusiasts for well over half a century.

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Mulsanne Speed has its own prominent character

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Here’s a grand touring saloon that does 0-60 in 4.8 seconds

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Mulsanne Speed is one of the most tastefully appointed sporting saloons in the world. A coined finish to door handles, knurled gear shift lever, and “organ stop” ventilation controls gives the cabin its own unique personality. The drilled alloy foot pedals proves the Mulsanne Speed’s pedigree as the ultimate grand tourer. The cabin is as luxurious as it is sporting –

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1929 Bentley 6.5 litre

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The heart and soul of this British masterpiece beats the 6.75 litre light alloy 16-valve OHV twin-turbocharged V8 engine. High revs at low rpm is a Bentley hallmark. This legendary powerplant cranks an astounding 530 hp @ 4,000 rpm packing a prolific punch with 1,100 Nm of peak torque @ 1,750 rpm for the Mulsanne Speed. Mulsanne and Mulsanne EWB offers equally impressive performance pumping 505 hp @ 4,000 rpm with an astounding 1,020 Nm of peak torque at 1,750 rpm.

Its chassis is equally aggressive to accommodate this masterful motorcar. Advanced technology delivers one of the world’s most refined rides with effortless comfort via selectable sports suspension to fine tune the ride to the driver’s preference. This luxury brute is highly capable of performance that would shame a sports car. Longitudinal acceleration for the Mulsanne Speed is rated as 0-60 mph in a mere 4.8 seconds with a top speed in the 190 mph range. While Mulsanne and Mulsanne EWB has longitudinal acceleration rated as 0-60 mph in just 5.1 seconds with a top speed in the 184 mph range.

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High performance is nothing new to any Bentley. From its humble beginnings with its creator W.O. Bentley who initiated the legend to the notorious Bentley Boys that earned consecutive wins from 1927 to 1930 at the grueling 24 hours of LeMans – Bentley EARNED its respect.

Bentley has always been a tad bit more spirited than its Rolls Royce counterpart. It was considered the sporting version of Rolls Royce for the owner who wished to maintain a low profile. Walter Owen Bentley’s motto was “To build a good car, a fast car, and the best in its class.” His cars raced climbing hills at Brooklands…scorching the tracks at the Indy 500, and those famous wins kickin’ up a little dust at LeMans.

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The famous Calais-Méditerranée Express race

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1 of 30 Bentley Arnage Blue Train Limited Editions

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Aside from Mulsanne’s luxurious appeal, there is also a practical sense. Its powerful V8 engine is geared for today’s world. “Big Ben” is the unexpected economy car. The Mulsanne uses technology to reduce overall fuel economy via cylinder deactivation to allow the car to cruise on four cylinders under light vehicle loads.

Cam phasing is also big news in the auto industry. Cam phasers help to increase fuel efficiency by decreasing the power needed to turn the engine over and keep the camshafts in optimal positions at all times. The engine is mated to the energy-efficient 8-speed ZF automatic transmission as part of Mulsanne’s electronic network aimed at reducing fuel consumption. (ahem…if one can afford the car, obviously fuel economy is insignificant…right?)

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Note the styling continuity, the previous Mulsanne saloon remains as tasteful and elegant as the current model. This only proves that good taste is never rendered redundant.

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1973 Bentley T saloon

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“Big Ben” is a highly intuitive luxury saloon equipped with a thinking suspension. It uses an air cushioned system with Continuous Damping Control (CDC) to refine the ride at lower speeds for comfort. It automatically lowers the car’s ride height at higher speeds to aid stability while enhancing vehicle downforce.

Drive Dynamics Control System allows the driver to program the ride operated by a rotary switch mounted next to the gear shift lever. The driver may choose from Bentley, Sport, or Comfort. And if this isn’t sufficient…there is a 4th selection. Custom mode enables the driver to select bespoke settings through Mulsanne’s multimedia system to further fine tune this luxury limo to suit their individual exigencies.

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Mulsanne is a continual source of unparalleled excellence with comfort and convenience beyond the realm of ordinary luxury motorcars. For example…Mulsanne’s “High Beam Assist” automatically dips its high beam headlamps when oncoming vehicles approach to avoid dazzling the eyes of motorists at night.

This electronic system adapts the shape of the light beam according to vehicle speed operating in 4 modes from which to select: Town, Country, Motorway, and High Beam. An ingenious “Blind Spot Warning System” detects vehicles behind the car in its blind spots to predict the possibility of collision. It flashes lights in the door mirrors. Another of Mulsanne’s collision mitigation features is Advanced Automatic Stability Control (ASC) to maintain optimum vehicle poise when needed.

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…The opulent Mulliner Touch

Bespoke is a sine qua non for Mulsanne. Each Bentley is handcrafted to reflect the requisites of its owner. The ultra-exclusive world of Mulsanne is further exemplified by Bentley through an extensive personal commissioning program. Mulliner is the in-house coachbuilder to design an automotive masterpiece that is as uniquely individual as one’s own finger prints. The majestic Mulliner personal commissioning service is limited only by one’s imagination…

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The Mulliner touch immediately escalates Mulsanne to new heights in exclusivity and supremacy which becomes the pinnacle of Bentley luxury and elegance. One such example has been created for George Bamford of Bamford Watch Department. Bamford specializes in the bespoke customization of elegant timepieces.

The Bamford X Bentley Mulliner Mulsanne Speed was designed in an elegant monotone of chic dark hues which is a true reflection of his very own savoir-faire. His signature panache coordinates black and dark tinted elements with a Beluga finish to all interior and exterior bright ware.

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Once the Mulliner magic has been cast, the motorcar becomes a highly collectible heirloom. Apart from custom handcrafted four-door saloons and limousines, Mulliner has created two-door fixedhead and drophead coupé models. Only those who know the bona-fide meaning of success can fully comprehend the true nobility of a Mulliner masterwork.

Before the spit between Bentley and Rolls Royce, HJ Mulliner, and Mulliner Park Ward handcrafted all two-door models exclusively. Bentley and Rolls Royce were at the time, built primarily as four-door saloons. The coupé models had to be coachbuilt. The elusive Corniche models became the dernier cri in grand touring coupés.

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Mulliner creates exclusivity, pedigree, and élan. Each masterwork becomes a crowning achievement in all of motordom. The pleasure of owning such a magnificent example of automotive art is reveling in the fact that no other motorcar will be exactly the same… 

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Mulsanne “L” one of only 2 built between 1984 & 1988

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1997 Bentley Turbo R 400 Mulliner Park Ward Newport Edition 

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note the impeccable fit and finish

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1963 Bentley Continental S3 Flying Spur by Mulliner

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1960 Bentley Mulliner coachbuilt coupé

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Here’s the world’s only Bentley badged Camargue

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1959 Bentley S1 standard saloon

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1964 Bentley S3 standard saloon

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The eloquent 1977 Bentley T2 standard saloon

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…do I give you the business or what?

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…The finale – this is the end of a magnificent era in luxury motoring. Here is the last time a body shell would be shared between these two legends. The Bentley Arnage and the Rolls Royce Silver Seraph is the end of the line. After these two icons rolled out of the assembly hall at Crewe…there became a distinct difference. “Just in fun…the fight begun, before long a web of hate was spun! Bentley pretended…same as Rolls Royce – but friends again they’d never be…so they scandalized, and criticized, and then they learned how to despise – “

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Bentley Arnage exhibits understated preeminence

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Arnage is the summit of unpretentious glamour

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…Epilogue

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Bentley 8 litre

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“Big Ben” stands alone today and is no longer foreshadowed by you-know-who! It’s a masterpiece that could only come from the master craftsmen. No car in years has so captured the admiration of the ultra-luxury market segment as the Bentley Mulsanne. Whatever the occasion…there is no more magnificent manner in which to arrive. This is luxury on the grand Bentley scale…unique even among other Bentley models.

The Mulsanne is rich in power assists, conveniences, appointments, and lavishly elegant interiors. The famed 6.75 litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine has one of the largest displacements in the industry. Mulsanne, Mulsanne EWB, and Mulsanne Speed each possess a distinctive character of its own. Whichever sumptuous saloon you select, rest assured…you own the world’s standard of excellence in luxury motoring. Stunning elegance, extraordinary power, and exceptional handling characteristics are just a few of the outstanding attributes one may expect from a Bentley Mulsanne – (applause…applause)

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Many thanks to my friends at Bentley Crewe http://www.bentleymotors.com/. Special thanks to my buddy Rodd Sala at Park Ward Motors Museum http://www.parkwardmotorsmuseum.com/. Hello to one of the finest Luxury Car dealers in the world Balmoral UK http://www.balmoraluk.com/. And I can’t thank Daniel Schmitt Classic Cars enough http://www.schmitt.com/. Thanks again for making this special tribute to the 2017 Bentley Mulsanne and Bentley history possible.

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…welcome once again to Greg’s World

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Greg’s World IS NotoriousLuxury  © 2016–2018

The Bentley Speed Trilogy Of Performance: EXP 10 Speed 6, Mulsanne Speed, And Continental GT Speed

Posted in Bentley, Editorials, Exotic & FAST, Exotic Sports Cars, Extreme Luxury, Grande Marque with tags , , , , , on May 19, 2015 by 99MilesPerHour

“Big Ben” in his most aggressive state…

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As an automotive journalist and connoisseur of fine automobiles, I seek perfection to share with my audience. Bentley, with its legendary high-performance and understated luxury is a sterling example of the finest hand-crafted automobile in the world.

From the notorious victories at LeMans with the famed Bentley Boys, to the sublime refinement of today’s versions…Bentley is the pinnacle of excellence in motorcars. The Bentley Speed tradition combines outstanding performance unmatched by rivals in its class. The cast includes a dazzling array of performers. “Speed” is part of Bentley’s DNA.

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The Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 is an avant-garde combination of motorsport-influence and a peek into the future of the brand. The ultimate Flagship offers a dramatic version for those who prefer a more formal approach with the Mulsanne Speed saloon.

The motorsport-inspired Continental GT Speed is available for those who enjoy a luxury sport car with panache. It is most evident …forward thinking, understated luxury, and high-performance are available to suit individual tastes…the new Bentley Motors proves it indomitably – Big Ben continues to rule with authority…

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The Mulsanne Speed saloon…the fastest limousine in captivity

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The Continental GT Speed…the ultimate sporting machine

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The Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 is history in the making. It was introduced at the Geneva International Motor Show March 3, 2015. This luxury motorsport-influenced two-seater represents a vision into the brand’s future and could possibly be a design predictor for production models. The flowing lines of the bold athletic architecture is augmented by its chiseled, powerful in-motion look.

Its styling hints at an aircraft fuselage with wings. Performance goals are not only to challenge its competitors but also to define a new benchmark in the already impressive Bentley portfolio. Its running buddies will be supercars such as the Aston Martin Vanquish, and the Ferrari F12berlinetta.

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This exquisite concept is a dynamic new design which synthesizes past, present and future styling cues. The Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 is an exciting new edition of the Bentley philosophy. It is a compilation of technology and exemplary British hand-crafting.

It will employ the 3-D metal printing process which uses lasers and computers. This new science can create most any shape or geometric feature. It brings to life a new realm of detail and is used in the grill mesh, exhaust ports, door handles, and side vents. This technique will also be used to create cabin accents. The Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 is the British interpretation of a luxury high-performance, high-tech two-seater. (Tally-ho!)

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The Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 could possibly be powered by a form of hybrid engine. It could also use a 4.0 litre twin-turbocharged V8 producing 500 hp based upon the highly successful Bentley Continental GT powerplant. Since this is a new direction for the brand, we will have to wait with bated-breath for the actual specifications regarding this highly impressive all-new luxury sport car.

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Here’s a glimpse into Bentley’s future…

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The Mulsanne Speed combines authentic Bentley values with 21st century engineering and technology. Determination to exceed and set new standards of engineering excellence is impetus to the brand. The Bentley strive for perfection is evident in the Mulsanne Speed. Its 6.75 litre twin-turbocharged V8 is tuned to deliver high-revs at low rpms which has always been a Bentley signature.

The foremost objective is to generate the feeling of relaxed control with minimum demands on the driver. The Bentley Mulsanne Speed is rated as the fastest production ultra-luxury saloon in the world. It is the quintessential Flagship with the legs of a sporting machine –

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The Bentley Mulsanne Speed is designed for the driver who seeks performance without compromising luxury. This luxurious four-door saloon is powered by Bentley’s 6.75 litre 16-valve, 412 CID twin-turbocharged V8. The engine has been re-engineered for both Mulsanne and Mulsanne Speed models. It has a redesigned combustion system using a new combustion chamber, inlet ports, fuel injectors, and spark plugs.

This modified combustion system yields a new compression ratio and promotes a more efficient combustion process. This, combined with new variable valve timing and optimized turbocharger controls pushes torque output to record levels. The engine is mated to the ZF 8HP90 8-speed automatic transmission equipped with Quickshift, Block Shifting, and steering wheel paddle shifters for manual shift mode – 

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The Bentley Mulsanne Speed offers unique precision handling and earth-shattering responsiveness. Its unusually high-spirited performance isn’t normally associated with a saloon of such stature. The 6.75 litre twin-turbocharged V8 produces an astounding 530 hp @ 4,200 rpm and packs a prolific punch delivering 1,100 Nm of peak torque @ 1,750 rpm.

Now, take a deep breath and fasten your seat belt…This 5,900+ pound luxury saloon moves with aplomb. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as: 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds, 0-100 mph in 11.4 seconds, 0-110 mph in 14 seconds, and 0-120 mph in just 16.9 seconds. OK…I’ll be brazen and go further…

This elegant grand tourer goes even faster: 0-130 mph in 20.3 seconds, 0-140 mph in 25 seconds, 0-150 mph in 30.6 seconds, 0-160 mph in 39.9 seconds…and (drum roll)…0-180 mph in 93 seconds. Being even more rudely elegant…it does the 1/4 mile @ 107 mph in a mere 13.2 seconds. The factory rates its top speed at a jaw-dropping 190 mph! (Pip-pip cheerio and all that jazz, right?)

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Mulsane Speed 4This simply amazing V8 engine makes it “the unexpected economy car.” The Bentley Mulsanne Speed is a high-performance luxury saloon geared for today. Its exclusive engine management system is calibrated to allow the V8 engine to run as a “V4” while cruising at low speeds with light loads. The highly efficient cylinder deactivation system has been re-tuned for smoother transitions between V4 and V8 operation for greater refinement. New gearbox control logic and engine hardware improvement aids its new level of efficiency as well.

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The personal tailoring system transforms the Mulsanne Speed from a docile refined limousine to a high-performance luxury brute. Engine refinement and a recalibrated gearbox are only a fraction of this car’s fine tuning. Its chassis system may be tuned to suit the owner’s driving style. Bentley, Comfort, Sport, and Custom modes are available to further calibrate the Mulsanne Speed experience.

Bentley and Comfort modes provides the more traditionally luxurious-focused ride. The Sport suspension mode is a more driver-focused version; it stiffens the air suspension and adjusts steering dynamics. The Custom setting allows the driver to individually match steering, chassis, and engine tune to his/her personal preference. 

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The major objective for Bentley designers is to create a relaxing experience for both driver and passengers. The driver’s seat for instance…is positioned placing it where the driver is in total command. The road ahead is clearly visible. There’s a precise alignment between the steering wheel, pedals, and seat, which ensures a more elegant driving experience. A Bentley is designed for ease of use. All pertinent functions are directly in hand. Controls for secondary functions are discretely in the background making sure any distractions are kept to an absolute minimum.

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The Mulsanne is one of the most tastefully appointed saloons in the world. A coined finish to door handles, knurled gear shift lever, and “organ stop” ventilation controls gives the cabin a unique sporting appeal. The drilled alloy foot pedals proves the Mulsanne Speed’s pedigree as the ultimate grand tourer. The cabin is as luxurious as it is sporting –

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Of course, there’s the Mulliner Driving Specification featuring an interior of hand-stitched leather and an array of options in which to make your Mulsanne Speed…your very own. Embroidered Bentley motifs are tastefully applied to the seats…from carbon fibre door and dash panels to exquisite hand-crafted wood veneers, a Bentley Mulsanne Speed is a highly bespoke automobile. There’s an exciting new technical veneer option available that uses a Piano Black with hand-crafted carbon fibre inlays. There is also a new Tamo Ash veneer to choose. Mulliner can match any color that’s appealing to you from your favorite shade of wall covering to that extra special linen blazer…sky’s the limit to coin a phrase.  

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How about a rear seat executive suite?

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New Piano Black veneers with carbon fibre inlays  

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The Bentley Mulsanne Speed rides upon a long 128.6” wheelbase, is 75.8” wide and has the luxury length of 219.5” which makes it a large and most comfortable saloon. Its four-wheel independent suspension rides on a cushion of air. Its self-leveling is totally automatic with Continuous Damping Control. It has double wishbones up front and a multi-link set-up at the rear.

ZF Servotronic speed-sensitive power rack and pinion steering aids its effortless overall operation. Its power four-wheel disc braking system has 6-piston calipers fitted to the front axle and single-piston sliding calipers fitted to the rear axle. From the prominent Bi-Xenon projector headlamps to the floating ellipse-style taillamps the Bentley Mulsanne Speed is the definitive luxury sporting limousine. (Can you tell I am Mulsanne-biased? The dealer had to pry me out of the driver’s seat when I test drove it for this story!)

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Another impressive thoroughbred is the Bentley Continental GT Speed. It is the latest edition in the evolution of the formidable Continental series. This elegant grand tourer is also one of Bentley’s fastest production models. It is equipped with a 6.0 litre 32-valve twin-turbocharged W12 engine. Its design is two V-6 cylinder banks joined at the crankshaft thus creating the “W” configuration – 

It delivers a potent 626 hp @ 6,000 rpm with an enormous 820 Nm of peak torque @ 1,700 rpm. The engine feeds power to a permanent all-wheel drive ZF 8HP90 8-speed automatic transmission with Quickshift and manual shift mode. The Continental GT Speed’s chassis is lowered with a stiffened suspension for its aggressive high-performance spirit – 

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Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds, 0-100 mph in 8.8 seconds, 0-110 mph in 10.6 seconds, 0-120 mph in 12.9 seconds, and 0-200 mph in 89.1 seconds. Its factory rated top speed is 206 mph. It can do the ¼ mile @ 116 mph in 12 seconds. This luxury sport model delivers a surfeit of power for the enthusiast who enjoys a gran turismo – 

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The Bentley Continental GT Speed is the hand-crafted luxury sport car available for those who dare be different. The iconic fast back design calls for the open road. The compact size and shorter wheelbase aids stability around curves. Its sleek silhouette has a wind-cheating drag coefficient of just 0.33 adding to its excellent driving attributes.

It is one of the sportiest rides to drive out of Crewe. This is the totally driver-focused Bentley.  Want even more excitement…try the Continental GT Speed cabrio. There’s nothing like the exhilaration of open air motoring…Bentley style. It’s for the young at heart and is truly going to win your heart. One test drive will prove the point…aggressively – 

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The Mulliner Driving Specification is most provocative for the Continental GT Speed. It gains a tightened, “small-diamond” quilting pattern reminiscent of a tailored British jacket. Driver controls are all-new, with an optional, more ergonomic sports-orientated steering wheel with larger gear-shift paddles incorporating tactile knurled metal embellishments.

Bright elements across the console are updated, the driver’s instrument panel receives new dials and graphics for a refreshed, more contemporary look, and the beauty of the new interior is now illuminated by LEDs. The center console also features a new black gear lever surround, unifying the style of all driver controls. A luxurious cabin of Alcantara is a distinctive alternative to the glove soft leather. A new softer aniline leather is also available for further indulgence…that’s what Big Ben is all about –

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Bentley Continental GT Speed

4.5 litre Bentley Blower

Bentley has always been the high-spirited road-going vehicle and race track champion. Its high revs at low rpm are what made it famous at LeMans. The Bentley Boys took home many victories driving them.  Bentley has a reputation for success. Why do you think John Steed (The Avengers) drove a vintage Bentley? He knew a good thing! The sheer exhilaration of driving a race car clad in street clothes is the secret Bentley owners hid for many years. A Bentley can be compared to a Chateau Lafite Rothschild (one of Steed’s favorite pleasures also)…it just gets better with age.

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Inspiration for the Bentley Speed versions dates back to the 1920s. The Bentley 3.0 litre was built from 1921-1929. The Red Label Speed could reach speeds of 90 mph. This is one of the most durable and one of the fastest automobiles built for its day. It is a 3.0 litre Bentley that won the 24 Hours de LeMans in 1924 with Bentley Boys Frank Clement and John Duff. It won again in 1927 in Super Sports form with Bentley Boys Sammy Davis and Dudley Benjafield. Bentleys won consecutive wins at LeMans from 1927 through 1930 with Bentley Boys at the wheel. A Bentley 4.5 litre won in 1928 with Bentley Boy Woolf Barnato, the Bentley Speed 6 won in 1929 and 1930 with Barnato as driver. (Simply smashing…old chap)

Woolf Barnato

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1929 Bentley Speed 6

Bentley Flying B

1973 Bentley T

1973 Bentley T2 courtesy Park Ward Motors Museum

1973 Bentley T 3

1973 Bentley T 2

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The new breed Bentleys are just as eloquent, even more so with their high-tech cutting edge design. There is a Bentley to satisfy the most discerning driver. So, while we wait to see what form the Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 will develop into, there are still alternatives.

There is the luxurious high-performance limousine, the Mulsanne Speed – for the driver that desires a more formal four-door saloon. And, for the driver that seeks luxury sport excitement – the Continental GT Speed is the car. But don’t take my word for it…drive one today, I’ll guarantee the fact that you will not want to drive home in your present car – 

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The End

Photos courtesy Bentley Media Club

2015 Bentley Mulsanne Speed

Posted in Bentley, Exotic Exotics, Extreme Luxury with tags , , , , , on November 15, 2014 by 99MilesPerHour

…Big Ben returns with a vengeance

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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 –

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photos courtesy Bentley Media Club, Park Ward Motors Museum, Daniel Schmitt

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2015 Bentley Mulsanne Speed