By Luca Cima
The Speed oozes sporting appeal, but retains those luxuries that owners love from a Bentley, writes Luca Cima
It takes 399 hours to build a Mulsanne at the Bentley factory in Crewe, England, as opposed to a mere 104 hours for the Bentley Continental GT.
A total of 200 hours alone is dedicated to the interior of the car, with the steering wheel taking up to five hours of work, three metres of thread and 620 stitches. As I walk around the 5.5-metre road ship, it is clear the Mulsanne is the top of the line at the luxury motor house.
I open the door and slide onto a very comfortable seat, starting the engine only to hear the soft heart of the Mulsanne begin to beat. But do not let its calmness fool you. Under its hood, the car boasts a 6.75 litre, V8, twin turbo engine capable of 530bhp at a mere 4,000rpm.
What makes it more distinct is its torque, a monstrous 1,100Nm at only 1,750rpm, meaning the power is available in torrential quantities at any time, making the delivery incredibly prompt.
Despite the car weighing nearly 2.7 tonnes, it can reach a top speed of 305km/h while keeping the ride utterly smooth. It is worth mentioning the Mulsanne’s engine is based on the same unit first launched in 1959, somehow adding a vintage vibe to the modern creation. Bentley has decided to continue using the engine, which has existed (and been developed) for the past five decades), despite the availability of its new 6 Litre V12, currently mounted on the Bentayga, the recent SUV addition to the Bentley range. The balance of tradition and modernity is undeniably evident in the Mulsanne.
The motorcar is also not short of technology, but it has been kept at a more basic level. While traction control and stability management are a must nowadays, I didn’t feel it in the Bentley’s smooth driving. It lets you guide her and leaves space to your senses and perceptions. For example, the latest development of the air suspensions are so finely tuned that a good part of the heavy weight of the car is not as cumbersome as one may expect. Pitch and body roll are limited, which helps the dynamics of the driving entering corners at a pace that is normally only possible with sports cars.
At a starting price of $379,400 (AED1.4m), the Bentley Mulsanne Speed is an investment worth making.
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