Bentley has revealed its new Mulsanne 'grand Bentley' model at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in California. The Mulsanne replaces the Arnage, following its predecessor's lead and taking its name from a part of the Le Mans circuit, where Bentley boasts six victories.
Introducing the Bentley Mulsanne at Pebble Beach (where Bentley was the featured marque), Dr. Franz-Josef Paefgen, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley Motors, said: "The challenge we set our engineers was to create a new grand Bentley that would stand as the pinnacle of British luxury motoring, offering the world's most exclusive driving experience. They have responded to this challenge with real passion and the result is a luxury grand tourer that sets new standards in terms of comfort, effortless performance and hand-crafted refinement."
Bentley is keeping quiet about the Mulsanne's technical specification until a further unveiling at the Frankfurt Motor Show
in September, but admits that the Mulsanne rides on a completely new platform developed in-house at Crewe. It's likely that the new car will be powered by an evolution of Bentley's venerable V8 unit driving the rear wheels.
Styling of the Mulsanne was headed up by Dick van Braeckel. The upright grille and large round headlamps of its predecessor remain, the Mulsanne exhibiting the expected gravitas and solidity of Bentley's range-topping model, but with some lightness to the detailing. The tapering tail is reminiscent of its Continental relatives, as are the oval-shaped LED rear lights and exhaust finishers. The interior will continue Bentley's usual tradition of hand-crafted finish in the highest quality materials.
As with the Arnage, the Mulsanne's platform will allow a great deal of modification - enabling Bentley to offer longer wheelbase versions and satisfy its customers' every demand. The sort of gazillionaire people who visit Pebble Beach Concours in fact, Bentley certain to have added a few names to the order book this weekend in California. And how much? You'll need to put an order down to find out, but expect a figure north of £200,000 in standard guise and a good bit more once you've specified it as you want it.
Kyle Fortune - 16 Aug 2009