Bentley is showcasing a highly distinctive and sporting interpretation of its flagship Mulsanne at the 2012 New York International Auto Show. The new Mulsanne Mulliner Driving Specification blends a range of striking design features including unique 21-inch alloy wheels, Bentley Flying ‘B’ wing vents and Diamond Quilted leather trimmed cabin with driver-selectable, sports-tuned suspension and steering, underscoring the performance credentials of Bentley’s 6.75 litre V8 ultra-luxury sports sedan.
At the same time, Bentley also announces the introduction of two new options for the Mulsanne range: a large tilt-opening, tinted glass sunroof and an exquisitely designed, electrically operated bottle cooler complete with hand-blown and hand-cut lead crystal champagne flutes.
Mulsanne Mulliner Driving Specification
The Mulsanne is a pure example of the Grand Touring Bentley combining coach-built elegance and hand crafted luxury with immense power and sportiness that together offer the world’s most exclusive driving experience. It is a luxury car that makes the joy of driving its central focus. In an era of mass production, it stands at the pinnacle of British luxury motoring.
With a 0-60 mph sprint time of just 5.1 seconds (0-100 km/h in 5.3 seconds) and a top speed of 184 mph (296 km/h) the 505 bhp (512 PS/377 kw) Mulsanne has always offered thunderous levels of performance for an ultra-luxury sedan. Now, for customers seeking an even sportier look, feel and character to their Mulsanne, Bentley is introducing the Mulliner Driving Specification.
The Mulsanne’s beautifully balanced proportions convey a unique sense of dynamism and movement. These are reinforced by muscular haunches and sharply sculpted, gracefully flowing lines, hinting at the phenomenal levels of power and torque that are in reserve at all times.
For the Mulliner Driving Specification, new 21-inch, light aluminium alloy wheels with race‑derived, titanium fasteners, bright-finished rims and 265/40 ZR21 tyres, underscore the Mulsanne’s potent yet elegant stance while providing even more dynamic handling. Available in both painted and polished finishes, the 2-piece wheels are exclusive to the Mulsanne Mulliner Driving Specification and are also compatible with Bentley’s optional self-levelling wheel badges.
The Mulsanne Mulliner Driving Specification also has a unique design language which underscores its sporting character, setting it apart from other Bentleys.
The sporting motif is emphasised by a pair of sweeping wing vents made from cast, polished stainless steel. The vents cleverly emulate Bentley’s iconic ‘Flying B’ emblem which is engraved with the Mulliner script. The flowing appearance accentuates the impression of speed and movement and the black matrix grille integrated into the design provides an attractive contrast to the polished stainless steel.
For the new sportier Mulsanne, the Drive Dynamics Control system, which allows suspension and steering systems to be tuned to a preferred driving style, now has a unique ‘Sport’ setting. Operated by the rotary switch mounted next to the gearshift selector, the new ‘Sport’ settings provide enhanced grip, body control and steering accuracy without compromising ride comfort.
Inside the Mulsanne’s sumptuous cabin Bentley’s styling team have created a bespoke, driver-focussed look and feel for the Mulliner Driving Specification. In keeping with the tradition of sporting Bentleys, the leather hide on the front and rear seats and door casings features an intricate Diamond Quilting pattern, complemented by an indented leather headlining.
A new and bespoke hide perforation process, developed specifically for the Mulsanne Mulliner Driving Specification, produces perforations in exact diamond shapes with non‑perforated ‘tramlines’ in between. This allows Bentley’s seamstresses to produce perfect stitching every time without risk of distortion and means that it can now be combined with the optional seat ventilation system.
Throughout the cabin, Crewe’s craftsmen and women have ensured that even purely functional controls are beautifully executed. The unique ‘knurled’ or ‘coined’ surface finish of the cool-metal interior door handles, ‘Organ Stop’ air ventilation controls and gear lever provide a highly tactile experience while giving extra grip. The leather gear lever is also hand-finished with a Baseball-style cross stitch – another example of Bentley’s famed attention to detail.
For confident, spirited driving, the accelerator and brake pedals of the Mulliner Driving Specification are made from drilled alloy. Beautifully crafted, each one of the raised grips on the pedals is individually polished. As a finishing touch to the cabin, Mulliner treadplate plaques are applied to the vertical surface of the driver and front passenger door sills.
In common with all Mulsannes, customers of the Mulliner Driving Specification have the opportunity to create a truly bespoke car from a palette of over 100 paint colours, a virtually limitless choice of unbleached premium quality veneers (with two marquetry options) and a selection of 22 leather hides.
Commenting on the new Mulsanne Mulliner Driving Specification, Alasdair Stewart, Bentley’s Member of the Board for Sales and Marketing:
“The Mulsanne represents the pinnacle of British motoring with unrivalled luxury and effortless performance. Now, the distinctly sporting accent of the new Mulliner Driving Specification provides an even greater degree of driving enjoyment without compromising the Mulsanne’s legendary comfort and refinement.”
Exquisite bottle cooler and sunroof options introduced for all Mulsannes
In addition to the new Mulliner Driving Specification, Bentley is announcing enhancements to the specification of the Mulsanne’s optional feature specification. All Mulsanne models may now be specified with an exquisitely detailed, Bentley-designed, luxury bottle cooler and rear cabin storage area with space for two full-size Champagne bottles in a canted position, allowing opened bottles to be placed back in the cooler.
With one touch of a button, the frosted glass door quietly slides open to reveal three hand‑blown and hand-cut lead crystal champagne flutes, displayed beautifully by the white LED accent lighting. These flutes have been exclusively created for Bentley by the renowned British designer, David Redman of London and echo the racing spoke design of the Mulsanne’s 21” 5-spoke Sports alloy wheel.
The flutes can be placed in the bespoke-design bright chrome holders that deploy from the centre seat cushion. These also adapt cleverly to work as normal cup holders when required. As is traditional at Bentley, the bottle cooler and flute holders are discreetly concealed when not in use and the elegant design of the cooling system means that no boot space is compromised.
The cabin of the Mulsanne is whisper-quiet, utilising the latest double-glazing and sound‑proofing technologies to isolate it from the hectic world. However, should you want to let the outside in, there is now the option of a large tilt-opening, tinted glass sunroof in the front cabin. It floods the cabin with light and gives an extra dimension of space, providing additional ventilation while avoiding the security risk of open windows.
The ultra-slim sunroof mechanism retains the Mulsanne’s fast, sweeping roof profile with negligible effect on cabin headroom. To provide welcome shade on the hottest days, a colour-matched Alcantara blind closes quietly at the touch of a button.