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2017 Bentley Mulsanne By Mulliner

2017 Bentley Mulsanne By Mulliner

Extreme opulence just got a lot longer

Bentley is known for producing some of the most posh and opulent vehicles on the road today. Only the finest interior materials are used by the craftsman who hand-assemble each car. But Bentley doesn’t offer a vehicle with seating for six – especially one configured with rear-facing seats. Not many automakers these days do. But when a customer approached Bentley’s customization department known as Mulliner, the company jumped at the chance to create something bespoke.

That’s just what happened here. This one-off customized Mulsanne is a full three feet longer than a standard Mulsanne, and offers seating for four in its rear cabin. A divider separates the driver and front passenger from the rear, complete with “smart glass” that changes from clear to opaque with a simple switch.

“The Mulsanne Grand Limousine showcases the exquisite craftsmanship of our in-house coachbuilder, Mulliner and exemplifies the way in which our experts consult with a customer to turn their vision into an extraordinary reality,” says Wolfgang Dürheimer, Bentley’s chairman and chief executive. “The attention to detail, quality, creativity and skill applied to every Mulliner commission is truly unique in the automotive world.”

It takes a second for the mind to wrap around the idea. A customer wanted a Mulsanne limousine, so Bentley built it. Talk about service. Unlike other luxury automakers’ customization departments, Mulliner doesn’t stop with bespoke paint colors or specialty-dyed leathers. Mulliner literally created a limo version – presumably by chopping the Mulsanne apart and adding length – for a single customer. While it’s hard to imagine the costs and labor involved, Bentley’s Grand Limousine is assuredly not cheap – not by a long shot.

Continue reading to learn more about the Bentley Mulsanne By Mulliner.

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2017 Bentley Mulsanne

2017 Bentley Mulsanne

New face, revised technology, but the same engine

Launched in 2010 as a replacement for the Bentley Arnage, the Bentley Mulsanne has finally received its mid-cycle update. After months of speculation and camouflaged prototypes spotted as early as October 2015, we finally have confirmation that an updated sedan will arrive in dealerships in time for the 2017 model year.

Not surprisingly, Bentley didn’t meddle much with the Mulsanne’s design. The British brand is known for keeping a product around for more than a decade and throw in a few updates from time to time. This is exactly what happened with the Mulsanne, but to Bentley’s credit, the facelift brings more modifications to the exterior than expected. Maybe it’s all because Bentley has a new SUV in dealerships, which will most likely bite into Mulsanne and Flying Spur sales. With the Bentayga around to offer the same levels of luxury and a roomy interior, the Mulsanne needed a more comprehensive makeover in order to remain attractive.

Alongside the standard sedan, Bentley also unveiled the Extended Wheelbase and Speed versions of the Mulsanne. As the name suggests, the former comes with a longer wheelbase for enhanced rear-seat legroom, while the latter features a more powerful drivetrain among Speed-specific styling cues. All three cars will be showcased at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show between March 1st and 13th.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Bentley Mulsanne.

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2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S

2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S

Bentley adds a new, mid-range model to its Flying Spur lineup.

The Geneva Motor Show kicks off in a couple of weeks, but Bentley couldn’t wait to debut the next model it is adding to its lineup – the Flying Spur V8 S. As you probably guessed, this new model will slot between the Flying Spur V8 and the Flying Spur W12. Unlike some automakers, Bentley has gone the extra mile with this addition to its lineup. It’s not just another Flying Spur V-8 with a few technological upgrades of some visual upgrades. Sure, Bentley has altered the exterior appearance a bit, but Bentley actually put some work into improving power output and driving performance over the base Flying Spur V8.

The differences between the standard Flying Spur V8 and the V8 S aren’t huge, but they are enough to set the V8 S apart from the standard model without stepping in the W12’s territory. After all, as Wolfgang Dürheimer – Chairman and CEO of Bentley – put it, “The Flying Spur remains unrivaled in its ability to combine class-leading comfort with remarkable dynamic ability. It’s the perfect choice for the customer who wants ultimate refinement as well as an exhilarating, spirited drive.”

The Flying Spur does exactly that, but this new mid-range model will give the customer a worthy choice if he is looking for something more than the base model but not looking to spend the cheddar required to acquire a W12 model. At this point, I’m sure you’re ready to hear about what sets the V8 S apart from its lesser counterpart, so let’s take a look at some images and see what Bentley is bringing to Geneva in March.

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2017 Bentley Bentayga

2017 Bentley Bentayga

The company’s first-ever SUV!

Even though it has a history spanning almost a century, and some of its earlier models were nicknamed by Ettore Bugatti as "the world’s fastest lorries," Bentley has never manufactured an SUV. Its Continental GT lineup is almost exclusively all-wheel-drive, but far from meeting the criteria for being called an SUV. Those three letters have actually given nightmares to traditional Bentley enthusiasts since 2015, when Bentley officially announced that it will launch a full-size SUV called the Bentayga by the end of the year. With the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show just around the corner, the Bentayga is finally here to brag about being the fastest, most powerful, and most expensive SUV in the world.

With the luxury carmaker being all about sales nowadays, and the Bentayga already amassing 4,000 pre-orders, the SUV is bound to be a sales success despite what the old-school Bentley fans want or believe. Based on the same platform as the new 2016 Audi Q7, the model is also the first Bentley powered by a diesel engine and a hybrid drivetrain, but more on that as you read the following review.

Updated 12/18/2015: Bentley dropped a new video in which it highlights the making of its latest Bentayga luxury SUV. Hit play to learn how "extraordinary people build extraordinary cars."

Continue Reading to learn more about the Bentley Bentayga

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2016 Bentley Bentayga First Edition

2016 Bentley Bentayga First Edition

At the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show in September, Bentley launched its very first SUV, the Bentayga. Set to become the fastest, most luxurious, and most expensive hauler on the market, the Bentayga just made its North American debut at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show. Alongside the standard SUV, the British firm also unveiled the Bentayga First Edition, a limited-edition version packed with bespoke features, some of which won’t be offered on the regular production model.

Basically, Bentley just created an even more exclusive variant of the Bentayga, which is already labeled as the most exquisite SUV in production. Deep-pocketed enthusiasts will be thrilled.

Although pricing has yet to be announced, the Brits did say that the Bentayga First Edition will be limited to only 608 examples. The number marks the metric power output of the Bentayga, 608 PS (600 horsepower,) which makes it the most powerful factory-built SUV. Considering that the standard model will retail from $229,100 when it goes on sale in 2016, expect the First Edition to fetch in excess of $250,000. That’s quite a lot of dough for an SUV, but I bet the First Edition will sell out in no time. Until it goes on sale, let’s have a closer look at the bespoke features that make it so special.

Continue reading to learn more about the Bentley Bentayga First Edition.

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1959 Bentley S1 'Empress' Saloon

1959 Bentley S1 ’Empress’ Saloon

The top-tier luxury car has evolved along different lines than other cars. The assembly line revolutionized mainstream car making, and made the automobile affordable for millions of people. But, for a car costing at least ten times what a Model T cost, a different approach was needed. With really high end luxury cars made before WWII, you would generally buy only a chassis from the actual automaker, then you would have it sent to a coachbuilder to have a body made to your particular specifications. Luxury car companies also tended to be more local businesses than mainstream car companies, as people liked to be close enough to oversee in some capacity the building of their car.

There were obviously exceptions, but this was the norm for a long time. Things changed after the Depression and WWII. A lot of luxury automakers didn’t make it through these troubling times, and those that did suddenly found themselves in a more global market. Luxury automakers would switch to standard bodies to keep up with the increased demand and to streamline logistics for foreign customers. The last Bentley that could be ordered without a standard body was this one, the S1.

Continue reading to learn more about the 1959 Bentley S1 ’Empress’ Saloon.

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2015 Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6

2015 Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6

With sales increasing tenfold since the Volkswagen Group took over the British carmaker after a fierce battle with BMW, Bentley has been on a roll this year, despite a somewhat aging lineup. After announcing that the company’s first SUV will launch toward the end of the year, Bentley introduced a second mid-cycle refresh for the top-selling Continental GT line and has now unveiled a near-production concept car at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show.

Called the EXP 10 Speed 6, the new Bentley concept radiates with old-school British luxury in a modern and compact package, while part of its name harks back to Woolf Barnato’s famous Blue Train Bentley from 1930. Featuring two seats and a long hood, and painted in a variation of British Racing Green, the EXP 10 Speed Six has a pretty good chance of going into production in the near future.

Continue reading to learn more about the Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6.

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2016 Bentley Continental GT

2016 Bentley Continental GT

As the first all-new Bentley after Volkswagen took over the company, the Continental GT is almost single-handedly responsible for the British marque’s massive sales successes in the beginning of the third millennium. Launched in 2003, the most affordable Bentley is still far from a new generation, but recently got it yet another facelift too keep it fresh.

Don’t expect a major restyling, although the new Conti GT went under the knife from almost every angle. Despite being 12 years old, the Bentley coupe still looks the business, which is probably Bentley didn’t change that much. A bit more power, slightly better fuel consumption and some nip and tucks both inside and out are all that the 2015 refresh brings to the table, but those may be all it needed to stay in shape anyway.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Bentley Continental GT.

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2016 Bentley Continental GT Convertible

2016 Bentley Continental GT Convertible

In the world of high-performance grand touring cars, the Bentley Continental GT is, by far, one of the most exquisite vehicles to see and be seen in, but it is worth noting that the overall design for this car hasn’t really changed much since it was first introduced in 2003. Sure, there have been plenty of enhancements over the years such as the addition of new models and even a 2011 refresh, but even so, it still requires a keen eye to spot these subtle year-to-year changes.

With that in mind, Bentley has just released all the details and a slew of images for the updated 2016 Bentley Continental GT family of coupes and convertibles, that show noteworthy improvements to almost every aspect of the car. The revised lineup will make its debut next month at the Geneva Motor Show including the stunning drop-top shown above.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Bentley Continental GT Convertible.

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Bentley Plans High-Performance Sports Concept For Geneva

Bentley Plans High-Performance Sports Concept For Geneva

British publication Autocar is reporting that Bentley is gearing up to reveal a new two-seat, front-engine GT car to take on the likes of Aston Martin and Ferrari. The UK-based automaker will pull the sheets on the new concept at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show in March.

The high-performance sports car is rumored to be packing a 500-horsepower, 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V-8 from Audi. A more powerful version might also be in the works, with enough muscle to motivate the luxury vehicle to a 200-mph top speed, much like the Continental GT Speed. Pricing is expected to start between $184,000 and $215,000, with delivery anticipated sometime in 2018.

The new concept coincides with the upcoming Bentayga crossover, which comes with a price tag of $220,000, making it the most expensive SUV on the market. According to Bentley’s CEO, Wolfgang Dürheimer, the marque may also expand its lineup with a new model to fit between the Continental Flying Spur and the Mulsanne.

If the new concept makes it to production, Autocar reports that it would most likely be based on the Volkswagen Group’s MSB flexible architecture, with a front/mid-engine layout and performance tricks gleaned from Bentley’s experience in GT3 racing.

Click past the jump to read more about Bentley’s future concept car.

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2015 Bentley Grand Convertible Concept

2015 Bentley Grand Convertible Concept

Ever since the Arnage was replaced by the Mulsanne in 2009, Bentley ceased to offer a full-size convertible to go against the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe. The Azure, the two-door, convertible version of the Arnage was the last Bentley directly aimed at the Drophead Coupe, with that mission being somewhat transferred to the Continental Convertible, a smaller, yet more powerful vehicle. Rumors about a Mulsanne Convertible have been floating around since 2011, but we have yet to see more than a couple of sketches. This just changed at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, where Bentley introduced the Grand Convertible, a full-size, drop-top concept car based on the Mulsanne.

Although Bentley had nothing to say about possible plans to put the Grand Convertible in production, the concept looks ready to hit the assembly line and we have reason to believe the Brits are finally rolling out a replacement for the Azure. We’ll be on the lookout to find out more about what Bentley intends to do with it, but in the meantime let’s have a closer look at the Grand Convertible or the company’s first full-size cabriolet in five years.

Click past the jump to read more about the Bentley Grand Convertible.

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Bentley to Debut a New Model at Goodwood Festival of Speed

We have already heard from Renault about its intentions of having a “big surprise” in store for the Goodwood Festival of Speed, which we all anticipate being as exciting as the final production model of the Alpine or as boring as the redesigned Clio. Now Bentley is getting in on this surprise-car theme by bringing its own new unnamed model to Goodwood.

There is very little information on this upcoming model, Actually it is a lot closer to no information than little, as the only word that we have is the luxury coach builder stating that the new model combines “stunning performance with exquisite luxury in the Bentley tradition.” By the description, it sounds almost like the Continental GT Speed that is already set to run at the Goodwood FOS, but it would seem odd to outright compete with its own sport coupe.

This could point to an even sportier car than the Continental GT gracing the "Flying B." Would we even dare to mention the term "sports car" in the same sentence as "Bentley?" If the description that Bentley gave of this car is true, then we very well may see a sleeker and sportier car bowing in at Goodwood.

We know that Bentley has broken its own mold in producing the EXP 9 F SUV concept, which will also be shown at Goodwood. This points toward Bentley’s openness to change, but is it open enough to bang out a super luxurious sports car? We’ll just have to see.

We will keep a close eye on what’s going on with Bentley and we will update you if anything else pops up. Given how tight-lipped Bentley has been so far, we will likely not know anything until the Goodwood FOS opens up on June 28th.

Click past the jump to read Bentley’s press release.

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