Bentley has long argued that its cars are driven, and not just enjoyed from the back seats. This new Mulliner Driving Specification for the Mulsanne is likely to be a hit then, as the £13,410 option not only brings styling changes inside and out, but also the promise of improved driving dynamics with sport-tuned suspension and steering.
‘Sport’ might sound odd in a luxury saloon weighing over 2.5 tonnes, but this car’s 6.75-litre twin-turbo V8 delivers 505bhp and 1,018Nm. The Mulliner option does nothing to boost those outputs; instead Bentley’s engineers have concentrated on tweaking the chassis to boost driver appeal.
On the road, the changes to the suspension and steering are difficult to spot. Explore the car’s drive control settings – which comprise Comfort, Bentley, Sport or Custom – and you’ll subtly step up the amount of weight in the steering, without any corresponding increase in feel.
Move up through the modes and the suspension will resist roll a bit more, and be slightly less settled over less than perfect road surfaces, but the differences aren’t significant. Still, while the option doesn’t affect the way the car drives that much, buyers will get a few smart visual tweaks over the standard model.
The knurled finishes on the door handles, gearlever and air vent controls are a classy touch, as is the diamond-quilted leather on the seats. Outside, Mulliner flying B badges mounted on the front wings are new; so are the two-part 21-inch alloy wheels, complete with titanium fasteners.
So although the Mulliner Driving Specification Mulsanne is no sports saloon, it has more of an edge while retaining its supreme comfort and refinement. This is a must-have, and in the world of £225,900 cars, it’s good value.