British automaker is celebrating its 100-year anniversary a year early

Bentley is turning 100 years old in 2019, and a year ahead of its centenary, the British automaker is getting the party started with the release of a new special edition Mulsanne that pays tribute to its founder, W.O. Bentley. Limited to just 100 units, the Mulsanne W.O. Edition gets plenty of exclusive features, all of which have been added by Bentley’s resident personalization savant, Mulliner.

What Makes the Mulssane W.I. Edition Special

2018 Bentley Mulsanne W.O. Edition by Mulliner
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The showpiece car gets an Onyx paint finish, though Bentley is clear that if you’re buying one of the 100 models available, you can choose other paint colors to dress up your SE Mulsanne

It should be established by now that when Mulliner works on something, you expect it to be extra special. Bentley’s personalization arm has a number of exquisite creations to its name, so when it was time to create a special edition model that pays tribute to the founder of Bentley, you expect Mulliner to be extra motivated to turn in a creation worthy of W.O. Bentley’s name. To the surprise of absolutely no one, that’s exactly what it did.

As it always does, Mulliner’s work on the Bentley Mulsanne W.O. Edition starts off in the exterior. The showpiece car gets an Onyx paint finish, though Bentley is clear that if you’re buying one of the 100 models available, you can choose other paint colors to dress up your SE Mulsanne. A few more exclusive touches can also be found in this special edition Mulsanne. The chrome strip that runs the length of the hood, for example, is an exclusive touch that we haven’t seen on any of Mulliner’s recent works. The sedan also gets its share of exclusive badging, including one found on the bumper to signify the special edition Mulsanne’s status. The W.O. Edition also gets centenary badging that’s located on the door sill treadplates and the self-levelling wheel centers.

2018 Bentley Mulsanne W.O. Edition by Mulliner
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Mulliner found a way to exceed it by dressing up the Mulsanne W.O. Edition’s cabin with tenets inspired by “luxury living in the 1930s”

Move to the interior and this is where Mulliner’s influence can really be seen. Discussing the Mulsanne’s luxury offerings is low-lying fruit. But even with our expectations already set, Mulliner found a way to exceed it by dressing up the Mulsanne W.O. Edition’s cabin with tenets inspired by “luxury living in the 1930s” and that, specifically, of the 8 Litre, one of the most iconic Bentley models in history that was built in what a lot of people say as the “golden age” of the U.K.’s automotive history. The 8 Litre’s influence can be seen throughout the cabin, none more prominent than the hand-crafted, illuminated cocktail cabinet depicts the front matrix grille and headlight of the iconic ride. The cabinet also contains the crown jewel of this special edition Mulsanne. Peer through a small display window inside the cabinet and you’ll see a piece of the exact crankshaft that belonged W.O. Bentley’s very own 8 Litre. That artifact alone is probably worth more than “standard” Bentley Mulsanne models.

Move away from the car’s ties to history and you’ll also be treated to a cabin awash in the finest of fine materials. Mulliner spared no expense giving the SE Mulsanne a smorgasbord of luxury finishes, including the use of materials I’ve never even heard of. Does Fireglow Heritage and Fireglow hide sound luxurious enough? How about the complementary Beluga hide detailing and blind stitching and the Dark Stain Burr Walnut veneer that covers the minor gauge panel and steering wheel rim. Mulliner also sued four different wood types, all of which were used in designing the interior of the Mulsanne. Aluminum was also used in the cabin, and as a finishing touch, the W.O. Mulliner also comes with the signature of the man who founded Bentley in 1919.

2018 Bentley Mulsanne W.O. Edition by Mulliner
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Peer through a small display window inside the cabinet and you’ll see a piece of the exact crankshaft that belonged W.O. Bentley’s very own 8 Liter

While it’s true that there’s only so many luxury digs a car can have without it going overboard, it’s hard to use that rationale on the Mulsanne W.O. Edition, especially when you consider what it stands for and who it’s celebrating.

There are no engine upgrades to speak of, but if you’re interested in buying any one of the 100 units that will be made, you can get the special edition treatment on either the standard Mulsanne or the more performance-oriented Mulsanne Speed. The Mulsanne is powered by a 6.75-liter V-8 engine that produces 505 horsepower on the “standard” version and as much as 530 ponies on the Mulsanne Speed. Either way, they’re getting a car that personifies everything that Bentley stands for.

There is an option, too, of getting the longer Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase, though that’s going to come with the 505-horsepower engine. In any event, nobody’s going home a loser here. If you somehow find it within yourself to justify buying one, you’re a hero in my eyes. Only 100 units will be available so better get to it. Something tells me that supplies of this special-beyond-special edition model aren’t going to last long. Bentley hasn’t said how much it’s going to cost, but be sure to prepare your checkbooks regardless. The standard Mulsanne sells for around $300,000 while the Mulsanne Speed will set you back around $350,000. You can bet your life savings that the Mulsanne W.O. Edition is going to cost a heck of a lot more than both of these models.

Further reading

2017 Bentley Mulsanne High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2017 Bentley Mulsanne.

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Press release

Limited edition of 100 Mulsannes to celebrate upcoming centenary
Homage to founder W.O. Bentley’s famous final 1930 design
Each Mulsanne holds a slice of crankshaft from W.O.’s personal car
Mulliner designers take inspiration from golden age of British motoring
True collector’s item as Bentley approaches centenary in 2019
Public debut to be at Monterey Car Week (August 24-26)
Watch a film about the limited edition at
(Crewe, 12 July 2018) Bentley Motors is demonstrating the beauty of bespoke with a new very special limited edition Mulsanne. The Mulsanne W.O. Edition by Mulliner pays homage to the founding father of the company and incorporates a genuine piece of Bentley history in every car.

Inside each of the 100 limited edition Mulsannes, a slice of the original crankshaft taken from W.O. Bentley’s personal 8 Litre car decades ago – the last model he designed for Bentley Motors back in 1930 – is displayed.

As Bentley approaches its centenary in 2019, Mulliner designers reflected on the last 99 years of an extraordinary British automotive story to imagine the new Mulsanne W.O. Edition. In doing so, they have created a truly unique collector’s item.

The Mulsanne W.O. Edition can be specified on any of the three-model Mulsanne range, based on customer preference. Key features include a colour split interior cut from Heritage Hide reflecting the patina of vintage cars, elegant Beluga black wheels, and a stunning cocktail cabinet or bottle cooler featuring a slice of W.O.’s own 8 Litre crankshaft set into the armrest.

This special model will make its public debut at Monterey Car Week in California USAin late August, with customer deliveries commencing in 2019 – Bentley’s centenary year.

The Mulsanne W.O. Edition by Mulliner – A Piece of History

The new Mulsanne W.O. Edition by Mulliner draws on design cues taken from the 8 Litre – built in an era that has been defined as the ‘golden age’ of motoring in Britain. Just 100 examples will be handcrafted by Mulliner.

The interior displays a range of exquisite features inspired by luxury living in the 1930s – key to which is the Mulliner illuminated cocktail cabinet. A marquetry scene on the handcrafted unit – depicting the geometric front matrix grille and headlight of the 8 Litre – reveals a display window, inside which a piece of the crankshaft from W.O. Bentley’s own 8 Litre car is showcased. Just below the machined metal display case is an inscription detailing the significance of the Bentley artefact.

To create the marquetry scene, a number of different veneers and materials were used. Four different wood types give contrast and depth to the piece, while aluminium is used to achieve the highlights, signature and geometric pattern. The diamond-like borders that run parallel to each side add to the contemporary look while retaining an art deco feel. The piece is finished with W.O.’s signature.

An interior colour split made from luxurious Fireglow Heritage and Fireglow hide is complemented further by Beluga hide detailing and blind stitching. Dark Stain Burr Walnut veneer extends to the minor gauge panel, steering wheel rim and other areas.

The Mulsanne is finished with Fireglow lambswool rugs, glass tumblers, privacy curtains to the rear doors, and a rear seat entertainment system.

The Mulsanne W.O. Edition further enhances its formidable road presence with Onyx paintwork (although customers can specify other colours from Bentley’s extensive pallet), chrome bonnet strip and graceful Flying B Mascot atop the optional chrome radiator shell and grille. A discreet W.O. Bentley signature badge is displayed on the lower bumper, while special centenary badging adorns the self-levelling wheel centres and door treadplates.

The Mulsanne W.O. Edition can be specified on any of the three-model Mulsanne range, based on customer preference. Each model is already a true statement of Bentley’s innovation and craftsmanship. Bentley’s flagship model is the world’s finest handmade car, representing the ultimate combination of luxury and performance.

The Bentley 8 Litre – The Last Car Designed By W.O.

The 8 Litre was described as W.O. Bentley’s finest grand tourer. Launched in 1930, it was also the last car he personally designed for Bentley Motors.

It was the largest and most luxurious Bentley of its time, featuring the most powerful engine of any car available in Britain – a 7,983cc straight six that offered remarkable performance. W.O. said of the 8 Litre: “I have always wanted to produce a dead silent 100-mph car, and now I think we have done it.”

Originally registered GK 706, W.O.’s was the second 8 Litre off the production line and became his personal transport. He commissioned HJ Mulliner to build a saloon body on the 12-foot, short-wheelbase chassis. W.O. was then forced to sell his beloved car in 1931.

It was bought back by Bentley Motors in 2006, when the car then underwent a sympathetic restoration, including replacing the original crankshaft, slices of which are now being symbolically installed in the new Mulsanne W.O. Edition by Mulliner.

W.O.’s 8 Litre has since become a symbolic ‘company car’ for each successive Bentley CEO, preserving a tradition that dates back to the company founder. It is now a focal point in the Bentley Motors Lineage Exhibition, situated at company headquarters in Crewe, England.

Bentley’s Centenary – 100 Years of Extraordinary

In 1919 Walter Owen (W.O.) Bentley created a company with a simple objective: to build “a fast car, a good car, the best in its class”. This guiding principle has driven Bentley ever since, pushing the brand forward and making it the leader in automotive luxury around the world today.

The 10th of July 2018 marks the start of Bentley’s 100th year and the countdown to the brand’s centenary in 2019. This extraordinary milestone – reached by only a special few companies – will be a cause for celebration of the company’s history and its global success today.

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