Bentley announces more details for new Mulsanne
Filed under: Bentley
While paying homage to past Bentley greats, the brief for the new Mulsanne’s design and engineering teams was to create a Bentley that represents the pinnacle of British luxury motoring.
The new Mulsanne, designed and engineered at Crewe from the ground-up, reaffirms the marque’s intent to create a new flagship Bentley with refined performance, unparalleled levels of interior luxury and coach building skills to the fore.
The return of the Mulsanne name underlines Bentley’s sporting heritage and passion for power and speed. Nothing reflects that prowess better than the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours race. Bentley has enjoyed success on six occasions at Le Mans, where its powerful and reliable race cars have thundered down the long straight into the famous Mulsanne corner, from which the new model takes its name.
The design of the new Mulsanne is a unique fusion of sportiness, coachbuilt elegance and solidity. Echoing the Bentley S -Type of the 1950s, the Mulsanne features a bold frontal design dominated by the traditional Bentley matrix grille and highly prominent, classic round inner headlamps with chrome surrounds, flanked by two, smaller outboard lamp clusters, all featuring the latest in lighting technology. The iconic ‘Flying B’ retractable radiator mascot is available as an option.
The long bonnet, short front overhang and long rear overhang help to convey a sense of power and movement, reinforced by muscular haunches and sharply sculptured lines which flow gracefully from the front wings to the rear. Uniquely designed 20-inch (and optional 21-inch) wheels reinforce the Mulsanne’s powerful, sporting stance.
Design Director Dirk van Braeckel explains the inspiration behind the Mulsanne’s distinctive appearance:
“The opportunity to design a new flagship Bentley is something afforded to very few designers. The team set out to create a sculpted form that blended classic Bentley heritage cues with modern lines.”
The body is produced in a new manufacturing facility at Bentley’s headquarters in Crewe where traditional metalworking skills, developed over six decades, are still used extensively during the nine-week build process. It is the very opposite of volume-production car-building… but the very epitome of Bentley.
The rear screen, for example is fully enveloped by the coachwork. This provides a flowing, flawless line to the rear of the car, complementing the exquisitely formed D-pillars – whose complex curves can only be created by skilled coach-builders. The complex form of the aluminium front wings, impossible to achieve with normal pressing techniques, is created using superforming, a technology usually reserved for the aerospace industry. This also makes the wings lighter, stiffer and provides superb surface definition. New construction techniques meant the designers could also incorporate details such as the ‘floating’ elliptical LED tail lights, which uniquely echo the shape of the exhaust tailpipes.
To accentuate the beauty of the bodywork, the Mulsanne features ‘brightware’ exclusively in polished stainless steel, including sill treadplates and matrix grilles. Bentley is the only manufacturer in the world to do this.
The door handles incorporate the traditional Bentley ‘knurling’ to their inboard surface for enhanced grip, reflecting the company’s typical attention to detail, while .the sporting character of the Mulsanne is reinforced by front wing vents and wide oval tailpipe finishers.
Bentley customers have a world of infinite choice when commissioning their cars. There are over 100 paint colours in the range that include everything from unusual heritage colours, special satin and pearlescent finishes and duo-tone combinations. But the choice does not end there. Through the bespoke world of Bentley Mulliner, unique colours can exactly match a customer’s vision and taste.