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Bentley plans Mulliner flagships all round

Top shelf: Bentley’s Bentayga Mulliner is just the first limited-edition special from the British marque’s house of automotive personalisation.

Bentayga Mulliner will be just the first of Bentley’s new super-luxury flagships

Bentley logo24 Mar 2017

By RON HAMMERTON

BENTLEY Motors has revealed that it will produce a flagship Mulliner edition of every new model from the British brand from now on, starting with its most recent all-new Bentley, the Bentayga large SUV.

After that, the next cab off the Mulliner rank is expected to be the new-generation Continental coupe and convertible due to be unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show in September, perhaps followed by an all-new smaller coupe, the Speed 6, that appears to be in the pipeline for later launch.

Mulliner claims to be the oldest mobility company in the world, having started as a saddler in England in 1559 and graduated via coach-building into specialty car craftsmanship for Bentley.

In recent decades, Mulliner has operated as a vehicle personalisation service, offering a huge range of options for Bentley owners who want highly personal cars.

But in arrangement with parent company Bentley which bought Mulliner in 1959, it will conceive and build a limited run of super-luxury variants of each model about 12 months after the release of the standard variant.

This plan was revealed by Mulliner head of technical operations Uday Senapati while visiting Australia for the local media drive of the Bentayga Diesel and presentation of the Continental Supersports at the Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne.

He said the Bentayga Mulliner – revealed at the recent Geneva motor show – would be just the first such special flagship vehicle produced by Mulliner for Bentley, with each new model getting the treatment from now on.

Australian buyers will be able to order the Bentayga Mulliner later this year for about $600,000 plus on-road costs – a whopping $173,000 more than current flagship Bentayga, the $427,300 W12 on which it is based.

Mr Senapati, who is based at Bentley headquarters at Crewe, in England, said Bentley offered up to 1.7 million possibilities for personalised cars across its model range and list of options.

“But people don’t stop there – they jump into even more possibilities with Mulliner’s bespoke service,” he said.

Mr Senapati said the four-seat Bentayga Mulliner featured a duo-tone interior, with door trims shaded from black to burled walnut in a gradual reveal.

He said in keeping with the old tradition of chauffeur-driven cars, the back seat cabin was more luxurious than the front seats, even featuring different coloured leather upholstery and a console with compartments for two Cumbria Crystal champagne flutes and a refrigerated bottle holder – a “house” in upper-crust English.

Seven leather duo colour schemes are suggested by Mulliner, with each featuring a hand-stitched fluted design, rather than the quilted look of a standard Bentayga.

The 22-inch alloy wheels are not cast but machined out of block metal, each taking hours to complete.

In the middle of each wheel is a floating Bentley “B” badge that – somehow – remains vertical at up to 270kmh.

The exterior paintwork is duo tone, while lower grilles in the bumper are chrome.

Six different lighting “moods” can be selected in the cabin. Owners can also select from 15 different colours and various levels of brightness.

They can even personalise the door-mounted puddle lights and illuminated sill plates – which in the standard Bentayga display the Bentley logo – to have, say, their name “Bazza” shining brightly.

A premium Naim sound system with almost 2000 Watts and 20 speakers comes with the Mulliner, while a parking heater can warm the car even when the engine is off.

And because this is a Mulliner creation, there are endless other bespoke features buyers can choose at a cost. Solid gold Breitling clock with mother-of pearl face, anyone?

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