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Bentley Mulsanne
[[File:Bentley Mulsanne – Frontansicht (4), 10. August 2011, Düsseldorf.jpg|frameless|upright=1.25|alt=]]
Manufacturer Bentley Motors Ltd
Parent company Volkswagen Group
Production 2010–present
Model year(s) 2011–present
Assembly Crewe, England, United Kingdom
Predecessor Arnage
Class luxury car
Body style(s) 4-door 2+2/3 saloon/sedan (rear setting area may have either 2 seats or 3)
Layout FR layout
Engine(s) 6.75L twin-turbo L Series V8
Transmission(s) 8-speed ZF 8HP automatic
Wheelbase 3,266 mm (128.6 in)[1]
Length 5,575 mm (219.5 in)[1]
Width 1,926 mm (75.8 in) (w/mirrors: 2,208 mm (86.9 in))[1]
Height 1,521 mm (59.9 in)[1]
Kerb weight 5,700 lb (2,600 kg)[2]
Designer Dirk van Braeckel[3]
Bentley Mulsanne – Heckansicht (1), 10. August 2011, Düsseldorf.jpg

The new Bentley Mulsanne is a high-end luxury car produced by Bentley Motors Limited in the United Kingdom.[4] The name is derived from Bentley's historical racing pedigree, which included five victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans — the Mulsanne Straight being the stretch of the Le Mans racing circuit where cars reach their highest speeds.

Legacy and significance

Bentley's new flagship model brings back the Mulsanne nameplate last used in 1992, and replaces the Bentley Arnage. The Mulsanne was unveiled at the 2009 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, on 16 August 2009. Coupe and convertible variants are expected to follow at some point as replacements for the Arnage-based Brooklands and Azure respectively.[5]

Like the Arnage, the Mulsanne retains the iconic 6.75 L (6750 cc/411 in³) OHV V8 engine, albeit heavily modified to meet Euro V emissions regulations. To achieve improved fuel consumption, the re-designed engine is lighter and features cylinder de-activation and variable cam phasing.[6] Unlike the less expensive Bentley Continental Flying Spur and Bentley Continental GT, the Mulsanne shares very few components with other marques in the Volkswagen Group.[7]

The Mulsanne is also notable as it is the first flagship car to be independently designed by Bentley Motors in nearly 80 years; the last being W.O. Bentley's iconic 8 litre model in 1930.[8] Afterward, most Bentleys had shared platforms with Rolls-Royce cars.[7]

The Mulsanne aims to recreate as much of Bentley's heritage as possible. For instance, the stainless steel knobs on the dashboard that control the vent plungers are electronic micro switches that send signals to the digital servos that handle the job. However, Bentley engineers painstakingly replicated the feedback of a precisely polished steel rod sliding over smooth felt to pull a soft leather damper closed.[9]

Pricing and features

In the United Kingdom, the 2011 Mulsanne costs from £225,900 and in the US from $285,000. The first vehicle produced, chassis number one, was sold in August 2009 at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance auction for $550,000.[10]

Each car takes twelve weeks to produce,[11] and customers will have a choice of 114 paint colours, 21 carpet colours, nine wood veneers and 24 interior leather hides, and be able to specify a custom colour scheme. Additionally, the car has more advanced technology compared with the Arnage, and can be specified to feature a Naim 2200w audio system complete with MP3 compatibility, with Bluetooth and an advanced MMI capability.

Executive Interior Concept

At the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, the Executive Interior Concept (EIC) contains many technologies commonly found in offices to assist executives while on the road. The rear passenger area features three LCD screens powered by an Apple Mac mini located in the trunk, with additional iPads in fold out trays connected through Bluetooth keyboards. Additional features include in-car wifi, iPods with docking stations, and integration of the many devices to the car's Naim audio system.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Bentley Mulsanne Detailed Specifications". Retrieved on 2012-02-17.
  2. Raynal, Wes (June 7, 2010), "Big Beauty", AutoWeek. 11 60: 20–22. 
  3. Condon, Josh. "Bentley Mulsanne: The famed British saloon builder replaces the Arnage with an all-new stunner.". MSN Autos. Retrieved on 4 December 2011.
  4. "Bentley Mulsanne, the all-new grand Bentley". Retrieved on 1 September 2009.
  5. Joseph, Noah (2009-09-24). "REPORT: Bentley Mulsanne to spawn coupe and convertible to replace Brooklands and Azure — Autoblog". Retrieved on 2010-10-02.
  6. "The New Bentley Mulsanne Launch Date Announced". Retrieved on 2010-10-02.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Ulrich, Lawrence (30 September 2011). "A Threat to the Job Security of Chauffeurs", The New York Times. 
  8. "British luxury built from the ground up", The New Zealand Herald, - APN Holdings NZ Limited (19 August 2009). Retrieved on 1 September 2009. 
  9. "2011 Bentley Mulsanne Reviews, Expert Car Reviews on AOL Autos". Retrieved on 2012-04-06.
  10. "First 2011 Bentley Mulsanne sells for $550,000 at auction". (18 August 2009). Retrieved on 1 September 2009.
  11. Martin, James (9 April 2011). "Some things the Germans need a hand with - like building the Bentley Mulsanne", Mail Online. Retrieved on 5 December 2011. 

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