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Paris show: Bentley reveals 305km/h Mulsanne Speed

Fast money: Bentley’s Mulsanne Speed might be 5.7metres long and weigh 2.7 tonnes, but it can accelerate to 100km/h from rest in 4.9 seconds.

Bentley unveils its Mulsanne Speed fast flagship ahead of Paris motor show

Bentley logo18 Sep 2014

By RICHARD BERRY

BENTLEY has taken a swing at its high-end performance rivals by revealing its latest luxury sledgehammer, the Mulsanne Speed, ahead of it Paris motor show debut next month.

With a top speed of 305km/h, Bentley claims its new flagship is the “world’s fastest ultra-luxury experience”. That is 9km/h faster than the regular Mulsanne and 0.4 seconds quicker from 0-100km/h too, with a time of 4.9 seconds.

Those performance figures place the Mulsanne Speed in serious sportscar territory. A Porsche Carrera 911 can hit 289km/h and sprint from 0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds, but the Mulsanne Speed is 5.6m long, 2.2m wide and weighs 2.7 tonnes.

Under the enormous bonnet is the same 6.75-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine found in the Mulsanne, but the Speed’s powerplant produces an extra 18kW at 395kW and torque has been upped by 80Nm for 1100Nm.

Swapping gears is an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission.

In Bentley’s press statement, it claims fuel consumption had been reduced by 13 per cent to 14.6 litres per 100km, thanks to retuning the cylinder deactivation system allow the vehicle to run on four cylinders under light load, a new gearbox control strategy and hardware upgrades.

The Mulsanne Speed has air suspension that not only offers the comfortable ride Bentley buyers are accustomed but includes a sport mode to improve handling by stiffening suspension, sharpening steering and giving the engine a more aggressive response.

Styling is sportier than the regular version, with a dark tint finish to its grille, lower air-intakes and wing vents. The headlights and tail lights also get a darker tint.

The Mulsanne Speed rolls on 21-inch wheels in a directional style designed for the right- or left-hand side of the car. The wheels are machined from solid forged blanks, finished off by hand and can be painted, polished or coated with a dark tint.

At the rear of the car are ‘floating ellipse’ tail lights and twin exhaust.

New exterior colours include a heavy, gold metallic called Spectre – which looks black at first glance and is said to be inspired by reptilian skin – Candy red, butterscotch metallic Camel and blue-green metallic Marlin.

Inside, the cabin has diamond quilted leather seats and door trim in a choice of 24 colours, plus a range of veneer panels including piano black with carbon-fibre inlays.

In the back seat, electrically operated tables with connections for iPads can be fitted, while onboard wi-fi keeps them connected to the net. A 2200-watt Naim for Bentley audio system has 14 speakers, while the rear seat entertainment system has two eight-inch screens with Bluetooth headphones.

A frosted glass bottle cooler and bespoke crystal champagne flutes can also be installed behind the rear armrest.

Not many cars can match the combined extravagance and performance of Bentley’s Mulsanne Speed. Mercedes-Benz’s new S65 AMG L sports limousine is powered by a 463kW/1000Nm twin-turbo 6.0-litre V12 has a 0-100km/h time of 4.3 seconds but it is electronically limited to a top speed of 250km/h. An option can raise this to 300km/h.

BMW’s 2014 760Li with its a 400kW/750Nm twin-turbo 6.0-litre V12 has a 0-100km/h time of 4.6 seconds, but it, too, is limited electronically to 250km/h.

The Mulsanne Speed will make its world premier at the Paris motor show on October 2. Bentley is yet to announce local pricing or when the car will go on sale in Australia, but buyers will pay more for it than the regular Mulsanne which has price tag of $662,858 excluding on-road costs.

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