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BENTLEY Mulsanne Review

OUR TEST CAR: 2014 BENTLEY Mulsanne

 
BENTLEY Mulsanne - Page - 1
Take a look at the current configuration of the Le Mans track. You’ll notice that the dominating name here is Mulsanne. This defines the legendary long straight, as well as the tight right-hand corner that follows. Not coincidentally, Bentley has used this designation for its new flagship model.

Just like The Circuit de la Sarthe’s Mulsanne part is three quarters straight and one quarter bend, Bentley’s homonym creation promises the ultimate luxury, while also claiming to tip its hat to the driver. Bentley explains that about 80 percent of Mulsanne customers will drive the cars themselves, so this is a pretty important aspect.

To show respect, Bentley hasn’t borrowed a VW Group platform like in the Continental family’s case. In fact, the Mulsanne is the first flagship Bentley built from scratch ever since W.O. Bentley was still around. We're talking about the early 1930s here.

There’s a keyless entry system to allow us to reach inside our test car, but the door handles are still an important part of the process. They come with Bentley’s traditional knurling texture, which does give us a sense of occasion as the doors swing open.

We shall not rush into the testing process though. Bentley spends nine weeks to build a Mulsanne, so we’ll take our time to analyze the styling. The car may look imposing in pictures, but its real-life presence is even more impressive than that.

For instance, the panel joints on the Mulsanne are hand-brazed and we suspect Bentley’s Crewe factory of employing magicians, not craftsmen. The story starts with the flying Bentley mascot, which is optional. By the way, this is retractable, so theft shouldn’t be a concern.

Below it, that mighty radiator grille can be had in the body color or chromed. Our tester came with the second option. Matched with the two shades of Gray (no pun intended) on the body, this brings an appearance that silences everything else around. Not a fan of Gray? No problem, you have over 114 exterior hues to select from and that's just the standard palette.

To our eyes, its looks place the Mulsanne a tad above the Rolls-Royce Ghost.

For instance, while the latter’s rear end doesn’t quite seem to match the rest of the car, the Mulsanne ends with just as much substance as it begins with. The short front overhang, streamlined silhouette and long rear overhang make up quite a lot of the Bentley Mulsanne's aura. The Brits allow you to choose between standard 20-inch wheels and optional 21-inch units.
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Photo gallery (78)
BENTLEY Mulsanne front2014 BENTLEY MulsanneBENTLEY MulsanneBENTLEY Mulsanne wheelBENTLEY Mulsanne headlightBENTLEY mascot on MulsanneBENTLEY Mulsanne door mirrorBENTLEY Mulsanne polished hoodBENTLEY Mulsanne front wheelBENTLEY MulsanneBENTLEY MulsanneBENTLEY Mulsanne side viewBENTLEY MulsanneBENTLEY MulsanneBENTLEY Mulsanne rear2014 BENTLEY Mulsanne rear fasciaBENTLEY MulsanneBENTLEY Mulsanne handling2014 BENTLEY MulsanneBENTLEY Mulsanne drivingBENTLEY MulsanneBENTLEY MulsanneBENTLEY MulsanneBENTLEY Mulsanne luggage compartmentBENTLEY badge on MulsanneBENTLEY Mulsanne privacy curtainsBENTLEY Mulsanne wood on door cardBENTLEY Mulsanne Naim speakerBENTLEY Mulsanne picnic tableBENTLEY Headphones: Mulsanne rear enterntainment systemBENTLEY Mulsanne rear armrest controlsBENTLEY Mulsanne interior: rearBENTLEY Mulsanne rear headrestsBENTLEY Mulsanne bulls-eye air ventsBENTLEY Mulsanne rear tablesBENTLEY Mulsanne rear armrestBENTLEY Mulsanne SD memory card slotsBENTLEY Mulsanne pedalsBENTLEY Mulsanne light controlsBENTLEY Mulsanne center console buttonsBENTLEY Mulsanne clockBENTLEY Mulsanne keyBENTLEY badge on Mulsanne steering wheelBENTLEY Mulsanne center consoleBENTLEY Mulsanne navigation displayBENTLEY Mulsanne dashboard veneerBENTLEY Mulsanne gear shifterBENTLEY Mulsanne steering wheelBENTLEY Mulsanne window switchesBENTLEY Mulsanne interiorBENTLEY Mulsanne front seatsBENTLEY Mulsanne power seatsBENTLEY Mulsanne interiorBENTLEY Mulsanne door entry sillBENTLEY badge on Mulsanne seatBENTLEY Mulsanne dashboard instrumentsBENTLEY Mulsanne ashtrayBENTLEY Mulsanne dashboardBENTLEY Mulsanne steering wheelBENTLEY Mulsanne rear seatsBENTLEY Mulsanne DVD changerBENTLEY Mulsanne iPod storage compartmentBENTLEY Mulsanne 6 3/4 V8 engineBENTLEY Mulsanne 6.75-liter V8BENTLEY MulsanneBENTLEY Mulsanne driftingBENTLEY Mulsanne accelerationBENTLEY Mulsanne offroadBENTLEY Mulsanne driving on sandBENTLEY Mulsanne desert adventureBENTLEY Mulsanne frontBENTLEY Mulsanne accelerationBENTLEY Mulsanne burnoutBENTLEY Mulsanne driving in the desertBENTLEY Mulsanne desert driftingBENTLEY Mulsanne navigationBENTLEY Mulsanne speedometer and rev counterBENTLEY Mulsanne dashboard instruments at night