The Mulsanne Speed comes well equipped with more horsepower and better performance

The Geneva Motor Show is one of the biggest auto shows in the world, so it is only fitting that just about every manufacturer – at least all the ones that matter anyway – bring their latest and greatest models to the show. You better believe Bentley is there, and this year it has debuted its refreshed Mulsanne. It didn’t bring just one model to the show, though; it brought two other models – the Mulsanne long wheelbase and the Mulsanne Speed. The latter is what I’m here to talk about today.

When you think about Bentley, it’s easy to imagine just relaxing in the back of one while some driver chauffeurs you from place to place. If that’s it what you want, you’ll be more interested in the long wheelbase Mulsanne. The Mulsanne Speed is meant to be driven, and fast, too. It’s a real driver’s car with a focus on unparalleled luxury. It’s suitable to be driven around in, but with a car like this, you’ll enjoy it a lot more if you’re the one at the helm.

If you’ve already seen the pictures of the new Mulsanne, and expected the Mulsanne Speed to host significant changes in appearance, you’re going to be disappointed. In classic Bentley style, the Mulsanne Speed does have some unique exterior styling cues, but the most important thing is what is going on in the drivetrain department. I’m covering all the details of the Mulsanne Speed right here, so sit back and click past the jump. Let’s get up close and personal with the Mulsanne Speed.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Bentley Mulsanne Speed.

  • 2017 Bentley Mulsanne Speed
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Transmission:
    ZF eight-speed
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    530
  • Torque @ RPM:
    811
  • Displacement:
    6.75 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.8 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    190 mph
  • Price:
    335600
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2017 Bentley Mulsanne Speed High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Bentley Mulsanne Speed High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Bentley Mulsanne Speed High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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Other highlights include the exclusive 21-inch “Speed” alloy wheels only available on this model, the rifled sports exhaust in the rear, and the Speed fender badging

As you can see, the Mulsanne Speed has all the same general design cues as the base model including that new wider grille, sporty air dam, and LED headlights. It even has the B-shaped vent at the bottom of the fenders on the side the gives way to a large chrome strip that extends back to the rear wheels. If you haven’t seen the differences yet, look a little closer. The grille, air dam, and corner vents on the fascia, along with the inside of the B-shaped vent on the side all have black backgrounds giving the Mulsanne Speed a “menacing” look, according to Bentley. In the rear, you’ll also notice the taillights also have a darker ambiance to them as the chrome outlines have been replaced with a deep tint. It’s a nice touch really, and I bet it stands out a lot later at night when the taillights are illuminated.

Other highlights include the exclusive 21-inch “Speed” alloy wheels only available on this model, the rifled sports exhaust in the rear, and the Speed fender badging. All told, they aren’t massive changes at all, with the most significant being the tint to the headlights and taillights, but the new Mulsanne was already considered perfect in Bentley’s eyes, so at least it did enough to differentiate this model from the rest.

Interior

2017 Bentley Mulsanne Speed High Resolution Interior
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Inside, we see a lot more of the same. As with other models, the same dashboard from the previous model carries over, as does the four-spoke steering wheel, center console and two-tone door panels. Of course, customers can still choose from 13 hand-selected wood veneers, but for the Mulsanne Speed, the Mulliner Driving Specification package comes standard. That includes a knurled gear shifter, drilled alloy sports pedals, and optional carbon fiber inserts in place of the wood inserts on the door panels.

The biggest difference here is the diamond-quilted leather that wraps the seats and a significant portion of the door panels.

The biggest difference here is the diamond-quilted leather that wraps the seats and a significant portion of the door panels. In the images we have here, the leather is sewed with contrast stitching that matches the exterior color of the car, which may be a standard practice for other exterior colors as well. The new Mulsanne already came with an updated infotainment system that has navigation, so Bentley didn’t meddle with anything on the technology front. The eight-inch touchscreen display with a 60 gigabite hard drive sits nicely in the dash, and while they aren’t shown in the images released by Bentley, I have a hunch that the 10.2-inch Android tablets for the rear are also included with the Mulsanne Speed.

When looking at the Mulsanne Speed and the base Mulsanne, I have to say I favor the interior of the Speed a lot more. I like the dark ambiance of the interior. The steering wheel is all black, as is the wood on the dash, center console, and center stack. All of the leather is black as well. In Particular, it’s rather sleek the way the diamond-quilted leather and the smooth leather all comes together in harmony. It’s a nice touch, and it gives the interior so much more character over the base Mulsanne.

Drivetrain

2017 Bentley Mulsanne Speed High Resolution Exterior
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This is where the heart of the Mulsanne Speed is at. See, the drivetrain on the base-model Mulsanne carried over unchanged from previous years, still offering a somewhat disappointing 505 horsepower and 752 pound-feet of torque. Of course, these aren’t bad numbers, but let’s be honest – we were all hoping for more power with the new model. In the end, it all worked out though, because with the Mulsanne speed our wants and needs were well answered.

The 6.75-liter V-8 from the base model is used in the Mulsanne Speed, but Bentley had a few tricks up its sleeve to give the Speed a little extra oomph. Through various, unmentioned upgrades, Bentley was able to squeeze out an extra 25 horsepower and 69 pound-feet of torque. This brings the 6.75-liter in the Mulsanne Speed up to 530 horsepower and 811 pound-feet. Bentley also recalibrated the ZF eight-speed transmission to provide a new gear strategy and “instant delivery” of power. Part of this tuning included an “S” driving mode that holds engine speed above 2,000 rpm to keep the turbos spooled and eliminating lag on hard acceleration at lower vehicle speeds.

the Mulsanne Speed can complete the sprint to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds on the way to a top speed of 190 mph.

This extra power and the recalibrated transmission wasn’t all that sets the Mulsanne Speed apart from the base model. To help provide better stability, Bentley includes a selectable sports suspension on the Speed. In regular mode, the suspension provides a comfort-focused ride and reactive chassis setup, but in Sport mode, the air suspension stiffens up for better body control and steering dynamics – improving feedback to the drive and overall accuracy of steering functions.

All told, the Mulsanne Speed can complete the sprint to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds on the way to a top speed of 190 mph. For comparison purposes, that is 0.3 seconds faster on the way to 60 mph and six mph faster in top speed than the base model. When you take into account the differences inside and out, as well as the gain in performance, the Bentley Speed suddenly becomes more attractive doesn’t it? I certainly think so.

Safety

Aside from the selectable sports suspension, the Mulsanne Speed has all the safety features included in the base model. This includes high-beam assist, automatic stability control, blind spot warning, and collision mitigation. The collision mitigation system is active between six mph and 155 mph and flashes the lights in the side mirrors if the system predicts the possibility of a collision.

Prices

Pricing has yet to be announced for the new Mulsanne Speed, but some sites are reporting a price tag of $335,600. Once official pricing details are released, we will update you accordingly.

Competition

Audi S8 Plus

2016 Audi S8 Plus High Resolution Exterior
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The new Audi S8 Plus went on sale in December of 2015, and it offers some pretty stiff competition for the Mulsanne Speed. Right off the bat, I can already feel some criticism from listing an Audi as a competitor for the Mulsanne Speed, but hear me out before you tie me to those wooden stakes. The S8 Plus starts out significantly lower than the Mulsanne Speed, with an opening price tag of $114,900. Of course, the S8 Plus as it stands isn’t quite as luxurious as the Mulsanne Speed, but it can be if you select the right options.

Adding in the cold weather package, the Driver Assistance Package, an Audi Design Package (I chose Black with Arras Red Stitching, with an Alcantara headliner and full leather for $5,500), the Dynamic package with ceramic brakes, carbon fiber spoilers, and increased speed limiter, Black Optical Exterior Package, Night Vision Assistant, Bang and Olufsen Advanced Sound System, and the Rear Seat Entertainment Package, all brings the Audi S8 Plus up to par with the Mulsanne Speed. Doing so, still saves you a lot of cheddar with an overall price of just of $151,000.

With that kind of money, you get something just as comfortable and as luxurious as the Mulsanne Speed. On top of that, the S8 Plus pumps out 605 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, allowing it to hit 60 mph in 3.8 seconds with a top speed of 190 mph. Say what you want, but I consider that some strong competition.

Read our full review on the Audi S8 Plus here.

Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II

2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II Exterior Wallpaper quality
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To be fair, I have to throw a Rolls Royce in here too since, as far as status symbols go, it’s the only real competition out there. The Ghost Series II was introduced at the 2014 Geneva Auto Show and came with a number of updates that are right on par with the new Mulsanne Speed. Similar luxury options on the inside, including wood veneers and chrome inserts, help it stand out.

It is powered by a 6.6-liter, V-12 engine that pumps out 562 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque. The 60 mph sprint comes in at 4.7 seconds, and top speed is governed to 155 mph. I sure would enjoy watching the new Mulsanne Speed and the Ghost II take a few laps around the track. With the right drivers, I’m sure it would be a provocative race, to say the least.

Read our full review on the Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II here.

Conclusion

2017 Bentley Mulsanne Speed High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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I can’t argue with the lack of major updates to the Mulsanne line as a whole. I was particularly fond of the previous models, so I’m glad that a lot didn’t change. When it comes to the Speed, I would probably pony up the additional money to go with the faster model, but I would be lying if I said that Audi S8 wasn’t a little more attractive to me. When well optioned, it offers a lot of the same luxurious appointments and at half the cost of the Mulsanne Speed.

Then again, the big difference here is the name, and when it comes down to it, saying you own a Bentley sounds a hell of a lot better than saying you own an Audi. No offense to Audi, but it just doesn’t have the same flair that comes with the Bentley name. When it comes to models like this, they are all status symbols, and the Mulsanne Speed is certainly one of the best out there.

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    • * Will be significantly more expensive than standard Mulsanne

Press Release

Featuring a more powerful version of Bentley’s mighty 6¾-litre twin-turbo V8 engine, the new Mulsanne Speed is truly tailored for the driver. With 537 PS (530 bhp / 395 kW), 1,100 Nm (811 lb.ft) of torque and selectable sports suspension, the Speed combines outstanding driving satisfaction with supreme comfort.

2017 Bentley Mulsanne Speed High Resolution Exterior
- image 666936

The Speed dispatches the sprint to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds (0‑100 km/h in 4.9 seconds) and has a top speed of 190 mph (305 km/h) – unrivalled figures in the ultra-luxury sector.

The connection between the car and driver is key, so the Speed’s engine is paired with a recalibrated ZF 8-speed gearbox designed to enhance the driving experience. The gear strategy is optimised to make best use of the increased engine output, and is designed for instant delivery. ‘S’ mode gives the driver even more control, and maintains the engine speed above 2,000 rpm so that the turbochargers are always spooled and ready to deliver instantaneous performance.

To make the most of the Speed’s effortless power and acceleration, an even more driver-focused Sport suspension mode is included. While the Bentley and Comfort suspension modes provide a comfort-focused and fully compliant chassis set-up, the Sport mode stiffens the all-round air suspension for improved body control and adjusts the steering dynamics for greater feedback and accuracy.

The Mulsanne Speed features a series of uniquely assertive styling features that mark it out as the high-performance pinnacle flagship. A dark tint finish is applied to the exterior brightware, affording the Speed a more menacing appearance. Exclusive 21” hand-finished ‘Speed’ alloys; dark tinted front and rear lamps; rifled sports exhausts; and Speed fender badging highlight the credentials of the world’s fastest ultra-luxury driving experience.

2017 Bentley Mulsanne Speed High Resolution Interior
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On the inside – in addition to the interior updates common across the Mulsanne range – the Speed also benefits from a number of new features that highlight its athletic, sporting abilities. For example, the Mulliner Driving Specification interior comes as standard, adding diamond-quilted seats, a knurled gear lever, drilled alloy sport pedals and optional carbon fibre waistrail inserts.

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Press release
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