Ares Design has built a work of art.
It's been seven years since Bentley stopped building the Brooklands, a two-door luxury coupe based on the Bentley Azure convertible, itself based on the Arnage sedan. Few people remember the Brooklands, as Bentley built just 550 units in four years. Bentley has never built a coupe version of its current large sedan, the Mulsanne, so a few aftermarket companies have had to take up the slack.
Bentley has built a convertible version of the Mulsanne for 19 lucky customers, so technically a coupe wouldn't be completely off the table. In the meantime, Italian coachbuilder called Ares Design has just shown off its take on a Mulsanne Coupe at the Monterey Car Week with an US-bound model built for a private client.
Right away, we are blown away by the craftsmanship shown here - the Mulsanne Coupe really looks like something that would roll off the factory floor at Bentley. This private customer opted for an elegant two-tone paint job, which is unquestionably eye-catching. Ares Design says that the car will be "built in extremely limited numbers for customers who appreciate Bentley style but would like a bespoke handcrafted creation." In other words, you can't afford it so keep dreaming.
Transforming a Bentley sedan into a coupe isn't easy and it certainly isn't cheap. To perform the conversion, Ares performed a full three-dimensional scan of the four-door Mulsanne and used the data to complete the necessary CAD work. The company then had to create new aluminum rear quarter panels, extended front doors made of carbon fiber, and bespoke windows with custom chrome surrounds. On the interior, the trim has been meticulously crafted so it looks like it comes straight from Bentley.
With all of these custom touches, the Ares Design Mulsanne Coupe does more than just chop off two doors. The extensive use of aluminum and carbon fiber shaves 992 pounds from the overall weight and a new ECU allows the 6.75-liter twin-turbo V8 to produce more than 591 horsepower and 811 lb-ft of torque. Of course, all of this work doesn't come cheap. Ares says the conversion takes around three to four months and starts around $460,000 (not including the cost of the Muslanne itself). It may not be cheap, but boy do we want it.