The mega Bentley has been taken to the max.
Bentley will use the Geneva Motor Show to introduce its extensive refresh of its flagship Mulsanne range that has been extended to four models. Alongside the Mulsanne and naughtier Mulsanne Speed comes two Extended Wheelbase variants, one with extra rear leg room, the other with four rear seats in a face-to-face configuration. The Mulsanne gets a brand new face; in fact everything ahead of the A-pillars is all new including the hood, bumper, stainless-steel grille with vertical slats and matrix mesh, and all-LED headlights.
Bentley draws inspiration for the new grille from the 1930 8 Liter and R-Type Continental. Designers have worked on giving the ultraluxe sedan more visual width and presence, a theme that continues in the rear where the bumper has been widened at its lower edge, while the new rear lights form a stylized ‘B’ shape, instantly recognizable as a Bentley. Power continues to come from the 505-hp and 530-hp versions of the 6.75-liter twin-turbo V8. However, the ZF eight-speed has been recalibrated and now offers an S mode. New chassis hardware includes active engine mounts and suspension bushings, and the air-spring suspension offers a Sport mode for more precise steering response and controlled ride.
Cabin noise has been reduced by four decibels (more than half that of the current car) thanks to new tires created in partnership with Dunlop, making for a more serene environment in which to enjoy the new 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Along with the new Apple- and Android-compatible system, underpinned by a 60GB hard drive, comes an optional 18-speaker Naim sound system with 2200 watt amplifier. In the rear, two 10.2-inch Android tablets are 4G, WiFi and Bluetooth enabled, and can be detached from the back of the front seats. The seats have been restyled, there’s new door trims, glass switchgear, console designs, 24 shades of leather finish and 13 veneers combined with walnut, cherry or oak.
In total, 40 interior parts are handmade. The Extended Wheelbase Mulsanne grows by 9.8 inches between the axles, increasing back-seat leg room by the same number. A new style of reclining seat, provides “first-class air-travel experience for the road.” New extended leg rests and backrest recline ensures almost horizontal lounging, retractable tables are now an option, and rear passengers have their own sunroof providing natural light as well as electrically-operated curtains for maximum privacy.
Details of the six-seater Mulsanne remain thin on the ground, save for the fact it will be called the Bentley Grand Limousine by Mulliner, boasting a wheelbase extended by a meter to house the four rear seats, and will be built to order. Check back next week for more information and pictures of the updated Bentley Mulsanne range from the Geneva Motor Show floor.