Bentley recently announced that a sporting interpretation of the Mulsanne – the Mulliner Driving Specification – will make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show. Which is running from 8th to 18th March, so there’s still plenty of time right? Allow crankandpiston to offer some context.
Genesis occurs with the style concept, evolving into the design after some tweaks, and press panels after a few more. Having received a basic finish, the panels are sub-assembled to showcase sharp yet graceful lines (check out the wheel arches) and new sporting wing vents. Hold fire with the spot welding for some more measuring. Have to get the dynamic integrity right, after all.
Spot checks completed and a quick dip in the ‘electric bath’ – where an electrical charge magnetises water-based paint pigments to the panels – and the body is ready for three layers of top coat (by hand) and two layers of lacquer (robotic). Kick your heels while one of 100 paint finishes is chosen.
Before the 6.75l V8 can start churning 505bhp, sprinting from 0-100kph in 5.3s and hitting its’ 296kph top speed, each component has to be individually assembled. Just ask the chap whose name appears on the casing.
And it’s not just the new Diamond Quilting pattern that requires meticulous attention to detail in the cabin. There’s over twenty-two leather hides to choose from, all mechanically scanned for imperfections. Don’t forget the baseball cross-stitch on the gear lever too. Matching veneer panels are cured, planed and moulded around the hardwood core, canted for those used on the new bottle coolers.
Then we’re onto the assembly line where the 21” exclusive alloys and self-leveling wheel badges join the party. Let’s not forget sound insulation and colour coordination too. Oh, and extensive electrical tests for the new Drive Dynamics Control system.
So far we’re 170 hours in, and the Mulsanne Mulliner Driving Specification has yet to turn a meticulously polished wheel. Landing in Switzerland could be a while away yet >>>