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New flagship Bentley unveiled

2009-08-17 08:04
Bentley has taken a huge step up from Arnage with its new flagship, the Mulsanne, shown at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Styled to be as ostentatious and regal as possible, the new Mulsanne cues most of its design heritage from the classic 8l Bentleys, recalling Crewe’s pre-Rolls Royce alliance period in the late 1920s and early 1930s.

Dimensionally the new Mulsanne is approximately 280mm longer than a Flying Spur and features a bespoke new chassis.

Wheels are massive (with nearly zero clearance between tyres and the wheelarches) and the Mulsanne’s forbidding presence is shored up even further by immense C-pillars, which run the car’s roofline down towards the Continental-like boot proportions.

Around the front is a traditional Bentley flagship headlamp arrangement – with smaller lamps flanking the mains, which are surrounded by an LED treatment.

Bentley promises a decidedly contemporary interior design theme for the new car too, highlighted by chrome accent dials and thoroughly modern switchgear (including a joystick controller for the interactive menu screen) all trimmed out amongst a veritable plantation’s worth of bespoke quality wood.

Mulsanne will be powered by a brand new twin-turbo V8, with monumental rotational force characteristics at low engine speeds being a given. Displacement, though, will remain in line with the company’s heritage at 6.75l of swept capacity.

According to a statement, Bentley has “redesigned the famous 6.75L V8 and replaced every significant part to improve acceleration, performance throughout the range and fuel efficiency and emissions.”

Technical details concerning the new Mulsanne will only be released at the Frankfurt motor show in September.

As the first authentic Bentley four-door Mulsanne to be engineered under VW ownership, expect impeccable technical credentials.

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