Bentley insiders have confirmed to Auto Express that a performance variant of the firm’s flagship Mulsanne, due later this years, will be badged Mulsanne Speed.
It’ll stick with the 6.75-litre twin-turbo V8 used in the standard Mulsanne but look for power to be increased from 505bhp to more like 550bhp. As well as dropping the 0-62mph to below five seconds, that should push the top speed up from 184mph to nearer 200mph.
As well as the power boost, expect subtle tweaks to the steering and chassis to help sharpen up the driving experience a bit. Bentley has always said, though, that its models will always put comfort and luxury above outright handling.
Bentley is quickly discovering that its buyers are willing to pay for extra performance, with our source revealing that the vast majority of UK buyers are already opting for the hot GT Speed or V8 S variants of the Continental. It’s clear there’s a market for the Mulsanne Speed and Bentley even sees potential for more extreme models in the style of the race-inspired Continental GT3-R.
Bentley CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer told Auto Express: “We will see Mulsanne developments at motor shows in 2014”, so it’s likely the Mulsanne Speed will be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in October. Expect a price of more than £250,000.