Bentley has released details of its new flagship, the Mulsanne Speed, which will debut at next month’s Paris motor show.
Built around the driver, the new car features a re-engineered version of the firm’s 6 ¾ litre twin-turbo V8. This is enough to propel the car to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds and onto a staggering 190 mph. Yet, despite the colossal performance, Bentley has managed to improve the car’s efficiency by 13% – emissions are down to 342g/km from 393g/km (making it Euro 6-compliant and increasing its range by 50 miles.) This is courtesy of cylinder deactivation, which shuts down half of the cylinders, creating a temporary V4 on light loads.[portfolio_slideshow]
All this has been achieved by a redesign of the combustion system, new variable valve timing and turbocharger, which assist in swelling power to 530 bhp and torque to to 811lb ft at 1750rpm – a significant increase from the current standard Mulsanne’s 505bhp and 752 lb ft.
To harness the reworked engine’s extra flexibility, the standard Mulsanne’s eight-speed automatic gearbox has been recalibrated to enhance responsiveness and ‘connection between car and driver’. This gearbox’s new ‘S’ mode, further enhances responsiveness by maintaining the engine’s speed above 2,000 rpm, thereby ensuring the turbochargers are already primed for action.
To sharpen handling response, a new Sport suspension mode tightens up the air suspension and tailors the steering for increased accuracy and feel.
Visual changes separating the Mulsanne Speed from the standard model include a new dark tint applied to the stainless steel radiator grille, bumper grille, wing vents, headlights and rear lights.
There are 21” alloy wheels, which feature a bespoke design for each sides of the car, with twin exhaust tailpipes adding the finishing touches. The Mulsanne Speed also sees the introduction of four new paint colours: Spectre; Candy Red; Camel and Marlin.
A plethora of specification enhancements and options create a modern two-tone ambience in the interior. Mulliner Driving specification includes – along with a new indented hide headlining – diamond quilting of the upholstery, piano black veneer panels, handcrafted carbon fibre inserts, ‘organ stop’ ventilation switchgear and drilled alloy foot pedals.
Mulsanne Speed’s cabin can also be packed full of extra technology and functionality to entertain and cosset passengers. The list includes a 60 GB multimedia hard drive, Wi-Fi, electrically-operated tables with docking stations for iPads and 8” screens with Bluetooth headphones. For audiophiles, there’s the optional Naim for Bentley premium audio system, which features a 2,200 watt amplifier and 14 custom-made speakers, to deliver what is probably the highest levels of fidelity possible in a car.
The Bentley Mulsanne Speed is expected to go on sale later this year, with prices starting from £252,200.
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