Future Models - Bentley 2016 Mulsanne
Geneva show: Bentley adds stretch Mulsanne
Room to move: The new Bentley Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase offers “first-class air-travel experience for the road”.
Long-wheelbase limo joins Bentley Mulsanne range in facelift due out in mid-2016
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24 February 2016
BENTLEY Motors is going after a chunk of rival Rolls-Royce’s action with a new
extended-wheelbase limo version of its facelifted Mulsanne flagship sedan.
The stretched variant, which will be offered with a super-spacious two-seat
rear cabin or four-seat face-to-face arrangement for executive meetings on the
move, will be unveiled at next week’s Geneva motor show ahead of the updated
model’s global roll-out, including Australia, later this year.
Until now, the Mulsanne was made on a single regular wheelbase, in Mulsanne and
high-performance Mulsanne Speed specifications.
Fellow British luxury limo-maker Rolls-Royce already offers its Phantom with an
extended-wheelbase alternative for those who feel the standard car has
Ironically, Rolls-Royce today announced last drinks for the current Phantom,
saying it will discontinue production this year ahead of the roll-out of an
all-new generation in 2018.
Apart from a smooth new look, latest technologies and, of course, the
additional stretched variant, the latest Mulsanne gets a more refined air
suspension system that the Volkswagen-owned Bentley modestly claims delivers
“the world’s most refined ride and effortless comfort”.
This smooth operation is further enhanced with new active engine mounts and
suspension bushes, plus new noise-absorbing tyres that, combined, cut cabin
noise by up to four decibels.
The powertrain – a big 6.8-litre V8 driving the rear wheels via ZF’s ubiquitous
eight-speed automatic transmission – remains unchanged, either on the standard
Mulsanne, in which it develops 377kW of power and 1020Nm of torque, or the
twin-turbo Speed with its 395kW and 1100Nm.
Acceleration from zero to 100km/h remains at 5.3 seconds for the Mulsanne and
4.9 seconds for the Speed. Top speed for the Speed is 305km/h.
Bentley chairman and chief executive Wolfgang Dürheimer said the Mulsanne was
the epitome of Bentley’s DNA – “exquisite, individual and powerful”.
“It defines luxury in the automotive world and offers a uniquely Bentley blend
of luxury and performance,” he said.
“The three distinct hand-crafted models now available each offer customers
something different. The Mulsanne, with its understated elegance and sporting
purpose, remains the consummate luxury limousine; the Mulsanne Speed is the
pinnacle of luxury and performance thanks to its immense power, torque and
refinement; and now the Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase – with its extraordinary
airline-style seats and rear-passenger bias – becomes the new benchmark in
The extended wheelbase version sits on a wheelbase stretched 250mm, to 3516mm,
with all of that extra space afforded to the rear seat.
With two rear seats, each passenger gets an aircraft-style folding leg-rest. A
centre console contains USB ports, penholders, cupholders and a glass-covered
Customers can choose between walnut, cherry or oak woods in a choice of 13
different trims. The leather seats can be had in a choice of 24 hide colours in
single or duo-tone styles with a fluted or quilted pattern.
The Mulsanne’s massive chrome grille is more imposing than before, gaining an
extra 80mm in width in what Bentley claims is a nod to great models of the
past, such as the 8 Litre of 1930.
The rounded headlamps are now all LED and gain adaptive technology for
automated dipping and high-beam switching. The outer driving lights that were
formerly mounted low in the leading edge of the front mudguards have been moved
up to beside the headlamps.
A new bumper design is 26mm wider at the bottom edge. At the back, new
tail-lights incorporate a ‘B’ theme.
A new infotainment system with an 8.0-inch touchscreen connects to a 60GB hard
drive for on-board media storage.
In the back seat, a pair of 10.2-inch tablets integrated into the backs of the
front seats can be used to connect to the internet via the car’s 4G WiFi,
either on board the car or elsewhere.
The alloy wheels are 20 inches on the Mulsanne, moving up to 21 inch on the
Speed. The Speed also gets dark-tint chrome exterior trim and a special exhaust
Hand-crafted at the Bentley factory in Crewe, each car takes a claimed 400
hours to build.
No pricing has been announced for the new Mulsanne range in Australia.
Currently, the Mulsanne goes for $662,858 plus on-road costs, and the Speed for
Rolls-Royce only gives driveaway pricing for its Phantom, which starts at
$855,000 for the standard Phantom and $990,000 for the Extended Wheelbase.
In Australia, Bentley is the number one marque in its class, selling 158 cars
in 2015 – up 17 per cent on 2014. This compares with Rolls-Royce’s 30 units,
down 23 per cent.