The Mulsanne, designed and engineered at Crewe, UK, is Bentley’s new, modern flagship. At the Geneva Motor Show, Bentley will be announcing the car’s standard and optional feature specifications.
The Mulsanne‘s luxurious hand-crafted interior, reflecting traditional Bentley values, will offer the latest technologies. Following detailed customer feedback, the original tanning process has been re-instated to match the leather smell that is so evocative of vintage Bentleys.
Under the long bonnet, lies the completely re-engineered 6¾-litre V8 engine, developing 512 PS (505 bhp/377 kW) with a torque of 1020 Nm / 752 lb/ft, delivered at a very low 1750 rev/min for effortless performance. The Mulsanne V8 also sees the introduction of two new control systems: cam phasing and variable displacement, a first for the ultra luxury sector, to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
Sumptuous interior meets advanced technology
The latest in-car technologies are discreetly placed within the Mulsanne’s sumptuous interior. A multimedia system with 60GB hard disc drives satellite navigation, audio/video, personal data, telephone and Bluetooth® connectivity. The upper dashboard houses an 8-inch multimedia screen, positioned unobtrusively behind an electrically operated veneered door, while below sits a stylish, leather-lined media player stowage drawer with connectors for iPod, USB, Mini USB and 3.5mm aux.
A state-of-the-art 14-speaker audio system with Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and 6-CD autochanger is provided as standard while the Naim for Bentley premium audio system may be specified as an option. This forging of two British luxury brands provides customers with the world’s most powerful production in-car amplifier with 2200 Watts, eight dedicated DSP modes and 20 custom-made speakers, delivering an unparalleled sound quality.
A personalised keyless entry system allows multiple pre-programmed configurations and automatically sets radio stations, phone book, seat (including ventilation and massage modes, both front and rear), steering column and seatbelt settings and even the electrically operated rear-seat blinds for side and rear windows. The keyless system operates with the chrome door handles which incorporate touch points to initiate communication with the key for verification and entry. The Mulsanne also features keyless start, having a stop/start button on the centre console.
The Bentley interior design team has continued to develop and evolve the luxurious interiors for which their cars are renowned, based on a large-scale, research programme to identify the classic signature features that have defined Bentleys from the 1920s to the present day.
Armed with this invaluable resource, the Mulsanne’s design team set itself highly challenging targets for key interior characteristics such as material design, smell, colour harmony and handcrafting. Similar targets were set for the operational refinement and robustness of all control mechanisms. The result is a hand-crafted interior that fully reflects traditional Bentley values, executed to the highest possible standards.
As Head of Interior Design, Robin Page says:
“Over 170 hours – almost half the entire build process – goes into crafting the interior of the new Mulsanne. At Crewe, Bentley’s way of working is the opposite of mass production – we start where others stop.”
The use of wood and leather hides has increased significantly to create an even more refined and luxurious cabin. While classic design features such as bulls-eye air vents (now also fitted in the rear compartment), high-quality mirror-matched wood veneers, leather hides and hand-finished stainless steel are retained, they are mixed with new touches such as beautiful ‘glass’ switches.
The entire cabin is encased within a ‘ring of wood’ waistrail with an unbroken panel of wood gracing the Mulsanne’s dashboard. Inverted dial needles within the instrument cluster are evocative of early Bentleys while the entire dashboard and console design is a subtle reminder of the Bentley wings motif.
Customers may select from an extensive range of premium quality veneers, unbleached for a natural appearance, and two marquetry options: picture frame and contemporary crossbanding. True to the Bentley ethos, customers may also select from a virtually unlimited palette of leather hides, including 24 ‘standard’ colours, of which three are new for Bentley. This unrivalled choice of veneers, leather hides and paint colours ensures that the needs of all customers can be matched perfectly.
Following detailed customer feedback, a traditional tanning process has been re-instated to match the rich, worn leather smell that is so evocative of vintage Bentleys. Only a very few hide suppliers worldwide have the capability to do this.
The carpet of the Mulsanne is unique to Bentley, its increased fibre depth, density and feel enhancing cabin quality. It is available in a range of colours to complement each individual hide. Pure wool, deep pile Wilton-weave over mats can add a further touch of comfort and luxury.
These exquisite materials are fashioned by craftsmen and women with up to 40 years’ experience. Each steering wheel, for example, can take 15 hours to hand-stitch while stainless steel brightware gleams so perfectly thanks to an intensive 10-hour finishing process. A wood veneer takes five weeks to turn from a rough root ball into a full set of mirror-matched, fine-polished leaves.
While the all-new Bentley Mulsanne pays respect to the past, it is a thoroughly modern luxury car that offers the world’s most exclusive driving experience – a unique fusion of power, refinement and elegance.
Bentley Motors Chairman and Chief Executive Dr. Franz-Josef Paefgen says:
“No other car maker can offer such a blend of performance and refinement in a single vehicle. The new Mulsanne is a car that evokes the Bentley philosophy of building the best luxury grand tourers in the world.”