The Bentley Mulsanne is a high end luxury limousine named after the back straight at LeMans. It was introduced as a 2011 model to replace the Bentley Brooklands and the Bentley Azure. The top of the line Mulsanne is powered by a 6.8 Liter twin turbo-charged V8 that is mated to an eight-speed automatic. This duo develops a maximum output of 506 HP and 752 lb-ft of torque. Coupe and cabrio versions of the Bentley Mulsanne are also in the works.
On the back of Porsche, Ferrari, and Fisker all posting extremely impressive sales figures for the first quarter of 2012, British luxury automobile manufacturer, Bentley has joined the growing list of high-end car companies increasing profits, recently posting a global sales surge of 32% over the past 6 months.
That 32 percent increase equates to 3,929 new cars being delivered to customers, and has also resulted in the U.S. becoming the firm’s largest market once again after it was overthrown by the emerging Chinese market last year. In saying that, however, sales in China skyrocketed by 55.7% in the first half of 2012, equaling 1,059 cars delivered, while the U.S. market grew by a more modest 25.7% or 1,140 new cars delivered.
These increases in sales were partly due to the rapid rise in demand for the brand’s flagship Mulsanne rising by 30%, while deliveries of the Continental GT increased exponentially by 48.5%. In addition to these impressive individual results, sales in Europe increased by 22.9 percent (607 new vehicles), the Middle East also grew by 47.9 percent (346 cars delivered) while the U.K saw a more modest increase of 4.5 percent.
Bentley’s former Chief Executive, Wolfgang Durheimer who we now know has moved to Audi, stated, “Our half year results show strong growth for Bentley in every single global region. The competition between the Americas and China continues and we are watching closely to see who will emerge as the largest region in 2012. “
“Sales are being driven up by our flagship Mulsanne which is up 30% following strong interest in the US and China. We are also pleased to see the continued growth of the new Continental GT W12, our pinnacle performance coupé,” he continued.
“I am very optimistic about the future for Bentley. We are gaining more momentum every month due to the strong performance of our global dealer network, the appeal of our existing model line to customers and the exciting future models like the Continental GT Speed we have in the pipeline.”
Very few people in this world are held in higher regard than Queen Elizabeth II. So when Bentley introduced a special edition Mulsanne at a gala event to open their new dealership in Beijing in honor of the Queen, none of us were really all that surprised.
The model is called the Mulsanne Diamond Jubilee Edition and with the opening of the dealership coinciding with the Queen’s birthday, it only seemed appropriate for the British luxury maker to pay tribute to their beloved figurehead.
The Mulsanne Diamond Jubilee Edition will only be limited to 60 units with each vehicle presenting a year of the Queen’s reign. Likewise, each model distinguishes itself courtesy of a range of handcrafted features that include gold stitching embroidery on the headrests, veneered picnic tables in the rear cabin, and decorated with a gold overlay, a design that apparently pays tribute to the royal carriage. Lastly, the Mulsanne Jubilee Edition also comes with highly-polished, stainless steel treadplate plaques bearing a ‘Bentley Mulliner, England’ and ‘Diamond Jubilee Edition’ script as a way to distinguish the special edition model from the rest of the Mulsanne’s in the world.
“This series of special cars, hand-built by our Mulliner Division, is our way of reciprocating the appreciation for British institutions, creativity and services we have been shown in China," said Richard Charlesworth, Director of Royal and VIP Relations for Bentley Motors.
"And as proud holders of a Royal Warrant we also wanted to provide some memorable examples of British technology and craftsmanship.”
Bentley is making its way over to the 2012 Geneva Motor Show packing a highly distinctive and sporting interpretation of their luxurious Mulsanne model. The Mulsanne Mulliner Driving Specification Edition receives many new features, as well as debuting two new options for the full range of Mulsannes.
The Bentley Mulsanne Mulliner Driving Specification will be distinguished by a pair of sweeping wing vents made from cast, polished stainless steel, a black matrix grille, a new set of unique 21-inch alloy wheels, Bentley Flying ‘B’ wing vents, and Diamond Quilted leather trimmed cabin with driver-selectable, sports-tuned suspension and steering. Powering this luxurious model will be the usual 6.75 liter V8 engine delivering 505 HP, mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The combination will allow the Mulsanne to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds, on its way up to a top speed of 184 mph - impressive numbers for a luxury limousine.
The Mulliner Driving Specification is set to be revealed next month at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, so stay tuned!
UPDATE 03/07/2012: We have added a series of new, live images from the Bentley Mulsanne Mulliner’s official debut in Geneva. Check them out in the picture gallery!
Hit the jump to read more about the new Bentley Mulsanne Mulliner Driving Specification.
Yesterday, there were reports that the new generation Porsche 911 would be around for the next 14 years, sprouting off a ton of variations in the process. The number of variants really isn’t anything new though. Wolfgang Durheimer had a hand in developing this game plan during his stay at Porsche and, now that he has moved on, Durheimer plans to do the same with Bentley . The Porschification of Bentley is further underway with the addition of ex-Porsche engineer, Rolf Frech, as Chief Engineer for Bentley starting in November 2011. Together, these two are ready to tackle Bentley’s future.
p>"We can make more of the Continental line up than we have today," Bentley CEO Wolfgang Durheimer said. "I could see it developing as the 911 derivatives did; lightweight models, special models, that was a very successful strategy. With the Mulsanne we get requests all the time for a longer wheelbase model, for instance. The question is whether we do it as a special order or put it on the model line. We are evaluating it, but I have no doubt we could also sell that type of car in the US and China."
Bentley’s new plans for their lineup include a Mulsanne convertible and coupe, as well as a few new versions for the Continental line-up currently consisting of the Supersports , Flying Spur , GT , and GTC models. Rumors about coupe and convertible versions of the Mulsanne have been circulating for some time now, but now it’s official. It is also believed that a Mulsanne convertible will revive the Azure name.
There’s always a fine line between ultra luxury and just being extravagantly over-the-top. British automaker, Bentley , knows a thing or two about luxury and at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the company showed off exactly what it’s all about with the new executive interior concept for the brand’s flagship model, the Mulsanne .
Turning the Mulsanne into an Apple multimedia connective hub, Bentley went completely bananas in outfitting it with just about every product Apple has on the market these days, save for an actual fruit basket of the doctor’s best friend. There are Apple iPads with Bluetooth keyboards, a Mini Mac in the boot compartment, and an Apple Media Center. The concept interior also carries ’W-Lan’ internet connectivity, and a 15.6" High Definition LED drop-down monitor. There are also two electric-powered, foldable wood veneer picnic tables, an illuminated center console, individual armrests for the rear seats, various new storage areas, and a Rear Seat Entertainment (RSE) and audio system.
If your head’s spinning from all the features included in the Executive Interior Concept, you’ll have to sit down, take a deep breath, and keep on reading. They’re not done. The final list of additions for the whole interior concept include a Tibaldi pen, a cooler, a Privacy Telephone handset, and numerous lights set-ups, as well as other ports and connectors.
According to Bentley, the whole set-up takes up to 170 hours, which means that all that hours spent working on the interior will warrant charges that will be beyond absurd. Bentley hasn’t announced how much it will cost, but you only need to read all the elements included to determine that it’s going to cost more than you can afford.
Bentley Motors and Estede are celebrating their first year anniversary of partnering together by releasing a limited series of solid gold sunglasses that will cost you the price of a decent-sized car.
We’re not joking; that’s just how Bentley and Estede roll.
The Bentley Estede Mulsanne sunglasses are available in either 18ct solid gold, silver palladium, or platinum with Bentley’s famed "B" logo settled in hand-polished enamel coating with full engraved surfaces. Each pair of sunglasses are made to order and will be individually numbered to only 100 pieces per color variation. What’s more, these glasses use special lenses that offer the latest in lens technology with state of the art lens coating.
So how much is a pair going to cost? Well, we advise you to sit down before you continue reading. The cheapest of the lot - the 18ct models - will set you back €7,700, which is about $11,000 based on current exchange rates. More expensive than that is the limited edition 18ct gold sunglasses that retails for €10,000, which is around $14,400. And then there’s the grand daddy of the collection: the platinum sunglasses. Each pair will set you back a ridiculous €31,500. Convert that and you get $45,400.
In the wake of what has been a busy week covering the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, we kind of left out a few important things taking shape this week, including the latest episode of National Geographic’s "Ultimate Factories".
The show, which actually airs tonight, will feature the latest handiwork of one of the world’s most exclusive and luxurious car brands, Bentley and their flagship luxury car, the Mulsanne .
Far and away, the Bentley Mulsanne is one of the most detailed cars to be built these days. Taking up well over nine weeks to build this precious masterpiece, the Mulsanne is finely-manicured to and designed with the greatest of care by the engineers working at the company’s production facility. One of the key ingredients that make up this world-class luxury car is the fine leather that’s personally hand-sewn by the people at Bentley Woodshop.
Seeing as the Mulsanne has over 300 wood panels and one panel takes over an hour to fully craft, you can imagine just how far and extensive Bentley goes to ensure that their customers receive nothing but the best in the Mulsanne.
To get you amped up for tonight’s episode, you can check out the teaser video National Geographic made.
It takes a man of a certain, shall we say, status to be able to have one of the most luxurious automakers in the world come pay him a visit in his own garage, bringing with it it’s new flagship luxury sedan.
If it were up to us, we wouldn’t hesitate for a second having Bentley over for some leftover cookies and milk in our homes, but we’re quite certain that even with the invitation, the folks form Crewe, England wouldn’t even give us the time of day.
But apparently, Jay Leno doesn’t even need to send invitations; Bentley will do the inviting for him. The late-night talk show host and car aficionado of a different kind recently hosted Bentley and it’s new pride and joy, the 2011 Mulsanne , in the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage.
In the episode, Leno is joined by Rodney Moore, Bentley’s Regional General Manager to talk shop about the 2011 Mulsanne and all its luxury goodness. As with almost every car that finds its way into Leno’s Garage, the comedian was given the keys to the luxury vehicle so he could take it out for a spin along the streets of Southern California. Not one to waste a perfectly good opportunity for a nice test drive, Leno works up the Mulsanne quite nicely during his run on the streets with it.
We suspect that either Motor Trend has gone off the deep end or they just have too much time on their hands, but whatever their rationale is, they decided that there’s a reasonable comparison to be made between the venerable Bentley Mulsanne and the Hyundai Equus .
You probably noticed that we didn’t have any adjectives connected to the Equus because, to be honest, when it’s sitting next to a Mulsanne, it doesn’t need any adjectives.
Okay, we may be coming down too hard on the Equus, which really isn’t fair. It’s a beautiful car that deserves praise on its own merits. But we’ll call a spade a spade: the only thing the Equus has on the Mulsanne is that it’s price tag is one-fifth of that of Bentley’s luxury flagship sedan.
Apart from that, comparing these two luxury cars is like comparing Kobe Bryant to Joe Johnson, which really isn’t much of a comparison if you know how the NBA works. That said, the whole Bentley-Equus comparison by Motor Trend is still worth a watch only because it reinforces the Grand Canyon-sized disparity between the two.
Even though the Bentley Mulsanne luxury sedan carries a price tag of $285,000 on the US market, doesn’t mean that it can’t be sold out until 2012. That’s right, Bentley has allocated a number of 200 units for this year, but customers have already placed 800 orders.
So, why not just bump up the number of units to be produced? Well, the Mulsanne is entirely hand built so the process is a little more painstaking than your average Joe car. In fact, the Bentley Mulsanne takes about 170 man hours for the entire process. That’s including 26 hours for the engine build and 86 hours for the painting alone.
The Mulsanne is powered by a 6¾ Liter V8 that develops a maximum output of 505 HP while at the same time producing a very broad torque curve that peaks at 752 lb-ft of thrusting force. The sprint from 0-60 can be made in 5.1 seconds.
For anyone who did not have the opportunity to place their order, breathe easy. There’s still hope because the British company has announced they will increase capacity in order to keep up with the demand. We can only imagine they will increase the number of coffee pots and overtime hours to pull this one off, but it just might be worth it in the end.