So hang on, let’s get this straight: ‘the pinnacle of luxury and performance’…is a Bentley Mulsanne?[Not a valid template]
Turns out that rather than flogging the Continental horse – with the GT3, the GT3-R, and the GT V8 S such recent developments and all – the boys and girls at Bentley have unveiled a new, performance orientated (insert inverted commas) version of its flagship luxury limousine, the Mulsanne Speed.
Now at first glance it’s easy to snigger and mutter a few ‘yeah, whatever’s under your breath, but that would be ignoring the newboy’s speed. For starters, the Mulsanne Speed – thanks to a new combustion system for the company’s established 6.75-litre twin-turbo V8 and a recalibrated eight-speed ZF gearbox – now chucks out 530bhp and 811lb ft, up from 505bhp and 752lb ft from the standard model. This, coupled with ‘instant torque delivery’, means the Mulsanne Speed hits a top speed of 305kph in a very straight-line (just ask Wing Commander Andy Green what that feels like) and 0-100kph in just 4.9 seconds. Scoff all you want, the Mulsanne Speed still hits the ton faster than a Porsche Boxster GTS. Which is pretty impressive.
The performance aspects of the Mulsanne Speed go further, however. Yes the Piano Black veneer and finest quality leather remain – as do those whacking 21-inch wheels, so the 2685+kg behemoth will not be breaking any Silverstone lap records anytime soon. The new Speed though does come with a new Sport driving mode, the air suspension designed to stiffen so as to improve both body control and the connection between car and driver. Of course, give or take a few polished ‘Speed’ badges and some dark-tinted radiator grilles, wing vents and front bumpers, you’d be hard-pressed to tell the newboy apart from its base model.
Unless of course you’re looking for ‘the pinnacle of luxury and performance’. We doubt you are though.