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Bentley Mulsanne

 The new Bentley Mulsanne is worth every single copper plated cent of one-third of a million dollars.
Without question, the new Mulsanne delivers an extraordinary driving.

Arguably the world's finest luxury automobile, is a piece of rolling art. It reflects the owner's character, individuality, passion and financial worth. the hand-crafted sedan speaks volumes about those behind its wheel, yet it doesn't utter a single word

Without question, the Bentley Mulsanne delivers an extraordinary driving experience - every bit as grand as one would expect, particularly given its lofty price tag. The big four-door is comfortable on the highway and capable in the corners. It accelerates rapidly and bleeds of speed without drama. However, the mechanical
operation of the machine is only one part of its charm. It's so much more than adapt transportation. The Bentley Mulsanne represents nearly a century of coach built automotive history. That heritage is ingrained in the aluminium body panels, stainless steel oddments and dyed leather hides. Countless man-hours are embodied in the upholstery stitching, hand-polishing and laborious inspection of every pore.

Bentley's are designed around the driver, but don't be fooled into thinking that passengers are relegated to anything short of International First Class. While the front passenger enjoys the identical accommodations as the driver, the rear passengers (two-plus-one accommodations) relax with eight-way power-operated heated and massaging seats with lumbar support and memory features. Not only are there four individual zones in the vehicles climate control system, but the occupants in the rear are able to move the front passenger seat out of the way (as id the generous legroom simply wasn't good enough). The various controls are all smartly tucked out of the way inside the rear center armrest.
Today, the all-aluminium engine has been completely reworked, fitted with new lightweight pistons, connecting rods and a forged camshaft. New control systems managing the twin turbocharged engine include cam phasing and variable displacement.
Bentley boasts that the engine now generates 505 horsepower at 4.200rpm - and that's the least impressive part of the tale. More significant is the devilish and mind boggling 752 pound feet of torque available from just 1,750 rpm.

Tasked with building an all new flagship that captures the essence of the Bentley marque - incomparable coach - built luxury and a passion for power and speed the engineers and designers in Crewe left nothing to chance. The result is the new Bentley Mulsanne.

Electronics manage nearly every aspect of the Mulsanne's venerable 6.75 liter V8, from the ignition sequence to fuel delivery. it systematically whirls to life and immediately settles into a near silent idle.  The base price on all models is $ 285,000 plus $2,595 destination, but a standard Mulsanne is unheard of. This particular model is fitted with a smattering of options, including 21 inch - two piece Polished Sport Wheels ($6,315), Naim Premium Audio ($7,415), Seat Ventilation & Massage ($3,000), Burr Oak Veneer ($4,630), Adaptive Cruise Control ($3,270) and a Flying B Radiator Mascot. Add in several more thoughtful touches, such as Ambient Interior Mood Lighting ($390) and a Valet Key ($250)m and the bottom line on this magnificent beauty is a bold $330,195

Wrap your hand around the polished stainless steel door handles (the insides have a tactile knurling to delight fingertips) and give it a firm tug. The door glides open, and the interior aroma spills out with it like the intense bouquet of a fine wine. Bentley reinstated its traditional tanning process for the hides within the Mulsanne's cabin. The result is a rich and aromatic leather balm, distinctly different from the synthetic painted leather smell in most automotive interiors.

The cabin is lavish and sumptuous, both driver focused and passenger pampering. The steering wheel isn't particularly meaty or sculpted, but the texture, feel and grip of the leather is so silken, it doesn't need to be, the twelve way power operated heated and massaging seats are as comfortable as your favorite lounge chair but devout of excessive bolstering and they offer overly generous fore and aft travel on their tracks. the vertebrae liquidizing seat massage feature should be illegal while the vehicle is in motion..

Primary instrumentation is clear, but the countless smaller glass buttons on the centre stack and centre console will require some familiarization (but so does you kitchen's spice rack).
With the engine purring on the other side of the firewall, the eight inch high resolution screen awakens from its resting position behind a veneered panel in the centre dashboard and displays an easy to read version of the Audi Multi Media Interface. But it's hard to tell.

According to the automaker, the Mulsanne sedan will reach 60 mph from a standstill in just 5.1 seconds. Keep your foot down for 11.6 seconds and the 5.700 pound four door will hit 100 mph despite toting nearly double the weight, this buffed beauty is quicker than a Porsche Cayman S.

     © Les Bons Viveurs 2013

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