Watch Out Ferrari – Here Comes the Bentley Mulsanne Speed

Flagship sedan will churn out 811 lb-ft of torque.

by on Sep.16, 2014

Bentley's new Mulsanne Speed model boasts torque numbers even Ferrari can respect.

For those who have the taste – and the budget – for high-performance imports, brands like Ferrari, Lamborghini, or perhaps Aston Martin, are likely to come immediately to mind. But there’s another exotic getting ready to give them a run for the money.

Bentley has been drawing from its history of motorsports to fuel its decade-long revival, and it clearly showed it wasn’t going to get left behind at the stoplight when it launched the latest, 616-horsepower version of its Continental GT Speed.

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From a pony count, the even newer Bentley Mulsanne Speed delivers a mere 530-hp — 25 more than a stock Mulsanne. But it’s the torque number that should put a smile on affluent performance fans, while sending a shiver down the spine at competitive brands. The maker’s flagship model, in Speed trim, will deliver an astounding 811 pound-feet of tire-spinning torque. That’s nearly 300 lb-ft more than the La Ferrari.

It obviously also has a lot more mass, so the Ferrari flagship will still win the race to 60, but the big Bentley gets there fast, in a mere 4.8 seconds, with the sedan rated at a top speed of 190 mph. The stock Mulsanne, for comparison, needs 5.1 seconds to hit 60, and tops out at “just” 184 mph.

The Speed's 6.75-liter twin-turbocharged V-8.

“The new Mulsanne Speed is the car that defines Bentley, as a flagship for driving luxury performance,” proclaims the brand’s chief executive, Wolfgang Durheimer. “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.”

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To make all that muscle, Bentley has performed some surgery on the Mulsanne’s 6.75-liter twin-turbo V-8. It now uses a variable-valve timing system, and a fuel-saving cylinder deactivation system. Bentley has revised everything from the compression ratio to the spark plugs, and the modified 8-speed gearbox now features a Sport Mode.

Surprisingly, the Bentley Mulsanne Speed also yields a full 13% improvement in fuel economy – to 12 City, 19 Highway and 14 Combined, the maker notes – the equivalent of an extra 50 miles on a tankful of fuel.

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The Mulsanne Speed’s adjustable air suspension also has been modified to keep it better planted under hard acceleration.

Inside the Bentley Mulsanne Speed.

From an appearance standpoint, the sedan now gets Bentley’s first mono-directional 21-inch wheels, a special, dark-tinted grille and lamps, a “twin-rifled” exhaust, and other exterior cues to let you know this isn’t your ordinary Bentley Mulsanne – not that the big bomber is an everyday sight.

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Inside, Bentley has crafted a modified, two-tine cabin. It adapts the Mulliner Driving Specification theme, including such details as diamond-quilted seats and door panels, the seats bearing the embroidered Bentley logo, as well as drilled alloy sport foot pedals.

We’ll get a closer look when the Bentle Mulsanne Speed is unveiled at the Paris Motor Show on the 2nd of October. The new model will be available for customer delivery over the winter.

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2 Responses to “Watch Out Ferrari – Here Comes the Bentley Mulsanne Speed”

  1. Mike says:

    I’ve got a soft spot for a dashboard that wastes no space on a tiny TV screen nobody will live long enough to figure out how to use, at least not at 190 mph. But what about heated cup holders? Do we need to wait for the Paris show to find out?

  2. Jorge says:

    I really like the elegant styling on the newer Bentleys. 811 lb-ft of torque should melt the rear tires if the electronics can be disabled. LOL This is the only way to travel if you have the means to own one as a daily driver.

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