Before we get to the newest 2015 Bentley Mulsanne Speed, lets go back to last years L.A. Auto Show where we spent considerable time with Bentley Representatives. We were looking specifically at the 2014 Continental GT Speed and as with virtually all Bentley models, we were awestruck not only by the exquisite interior and flowing body lines, but equally excited by the The twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W-12 engine and the paddle shifted ZF eight-speed automatic, one of the finest and well researched automatic transmissions in the industry.
Well, as the old saying goes, that was then and this is now. The 2015 Mulsanne Speed is Bentley’s new flagship model and to use the word “impressive” almost seems inadequate. This new 2015 Bentley Mulsanne Speed blends appearance with substance, power with agility, and as one creative columnist once commented “The Mulsanne Speed’s identity is a dichotomy; it’s a purpose-built chauffeured ride on one hand and a decent driver’s car on the other”.
The big V12 gets replaced by the V8 and while there are a few Bentley enthusiasts that may argue the point, all of us here at Horsepower Broadcasting find ourselves in complete agreement with Bentleys assessment to go V8.
Bentley’s 6.8-liter V-8 is producing 530 horsepower and 811 lb-ft of torque and when you consider the torque figure is second only to that of the Bugatti Veyron it becomes even more impressive. 0 to 60 happens in about 4.5 seconds and top speed is somewhere near 190 mph. The twin turbo chargers work exceptionally well and this newest model has the the ability to run on four cylinders to save fuel. The transmission is the same ZF eight speed that we’ve come to expect and it truly delivers on every level. This is the same transmission we looked at closely out at the Powertrain Expo in Las Vegas last year.
Chassis and suspension are adequately developed for the 5,800 (or thereabouts) pounds it supports and the overall length of somewhere near 208 inches.
Ride quality was excellent and the quiet we experienced inside the cabin was almost surreal. Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley Motors, Wolfgang Dürheimer, comments:
“The new Mulsanne Speed is the car that defines Bentley, as a flagship for driving luxury performance. Our customers don’t compromise, and we’ve adopted the same approach in the design, engineering and crafting of our new flagship. The Mulsanne Speed is distinguished, calm and relaxing, but always with a connection to the road and relentless dynamic performance on demand. In this car, every journey becomes a drive.”
Inside, the cabin is everything you’d expect from Bentley, it’s luxury x10. Our $360,000+ test car also had a $10,000 champagne cooler and about $30,000 worth of entertainment equipment. The 20-speaker sound system and high line video monitors in the front-seat headrests almost defy written or verbal description, and the iPad and Bluetooth keyboard seem somehow correctly placed.
The sticker price on this car ultimately will eliminate many from serious contention when considering their next vehicle purchase, but for those that can ante up at this level, the new 2015 Bentley Mulsanne Speed is sure to please. Bentley is only one (1) of the Volkswagen Auto Groups high end luxury platforms, and while there is continuous momentum in all the V.A.G lines, no one is busier than the Bentley team.
I recall sitting with a Volkswagen Auto Group executive back in 2011 when he made a statement then that V.A.G. intended to be the worlds largest automaker by 2018. I also recall thinking (to myself) he was crazy and it would never happen! I am so glad I did not verbally challenge him on that statement during that interview, there certainly would have been a lot of egg on my face today, (please see columnist Bill Frank’s VW story).