Newly facelifted Bentley Mulsanne uncovered at Geneva
Luxury Bentley Mulsanne comes in Speed and LWB versions and promises 'most relaxing environment in the world' for rear passengers
The latest Bentley Mulsanne has been revealed at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. The flagship limousine tops a range including the Continental and the Bentayga, and for the first time it now features an 'Extended Wheelbase' version for what Bentley says is 'the most relaxing automotive environment in the world'.
The Extended Wheelbase car is 250mm longer, with all that extra length added to the rear doors. The continuous line that runs front to back is disconnected over the rear wheel on the LWB car, breaking up the limousine-like length into more manageable chunks. Inside you’ll find a set of electronic legrests, as well as an ornate and functional centre console with USB ports, a Champagne fridge, and a glass-covered stowage area. Foldable tables and window blinds also feature.
Further details include a large sunroof that – unlike conventional sunroofs that sit over driver and front seat passenger – projects over the rear cabin. The tilting glass can be controlled by either driver or passenger and allows an impressive amount of natural light into the cabin.
In addition to the stretched Mulsanne, Bentley has also inflicted a host of changes on the standard car and driver-focused Mulsanne Speed. Styling tweaks include a re-styled front end and an overhaul of the already luxurious interior.
From the front, keen eyes will notice the imposing stainless steel vertical grille, which is now 80mm wider. It runs from the bonnet to the the bumper and below the number plate, and Bentley says it’s inspired by great models of the past – including the 1930s 8 Litre and 50s R-Type Continental.
The new car also gets ‘floating’ LED lights, which feature clever adaptive technology that can run in Town, Country or Motorway modes – lighting the road according to the conditions. The outer lamps feature integrated washers, and now sit in line with the main headlights. At the rear, the look is completed with new tail lights with a B-shaped signature and a wider bumper. A variety of 21-inch wheel styles are adorned by new Dunlop rubber.
Inside, the sumptuous leather seats are now available in two styles – Fluted or Quilted – with the entire interior taking over 150 man hours to finish. Customers get a choice of 24 different colour schemes. The high grade metal, glass and wood finishes remain.
But while the materials may feel quite traditional, Bentley has upped its game with an all-new infotainment system. There’s an eight-inch touchscreen display in the centre of the dash, which includes Apple CarPlay as standard. This was first seen in the Bentayga, and is expected to feature in all future Bentleys going forward.
Those who value a premium audio experience can specify Bentley’s 18-speaker, 2,200-watt Naim stereo. In addition, rear-seat passenger benefit from a pair of 10-inch Android tablets integrated into the backs of the front seats. Sound can be streamed through the car’s speakers, with access to over one million apps – including Skype and Spotify.
Active engine mounts and suspension bushes are said to further improve the Mulsanne’s hushed ride - along with those new tyres that feature a clever sound-absorbing foam architecture. The new car is said to be up to 4dBA quieter than before.
Adaptive air suspension is standard, which has been tweaked – along with new bushes – for the new car. There are four different driving modes available; Bentley, Sport, Comfort and Custom. The system automatically lowers at speed to reduce lift and improve aerodynamic stability.
Under the bonnet, the familiar 6.75-litre turbo V8 remains in two states of tune. The standard and Extended Wheelbase cars get a 505bhp version with a mind boggling 1,020Nm of torque. Power is channeled via an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox, with 0-60mph dispatched in just 5.1 seconds. Cylinder deactivation features, though combined fuel economy is listed at just 19.3mpg.
The Mulsanne Speed ups the ante to 530bhp, with an extra 80Nm of torque. It’ll do 0-60mph in 4.8 seconds and hit 190mph flat out. It also uses a more driver-focused suspension setup and a recalibrated gearbox with an ’S’ mode that keeps the engine above 2,000rpm for improved response.
Bentley also previewed a bespoke Mulliner version with a one-metre stretched wheelbase – with seating in the back for four. It’ll be on display at the Geneva Motor Show next week, alongside all three versions shown here.
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