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Bentley Mulsanne

The new Mulsanne combines the traditional Bentley luxury and style with modern technology, to create their most accomplished car to date.

Bentley Mulsanne Bentley Mulsanne Side View Bentley Mulsanne Interior

Started in 1919, Bentley Motors was the brain-child of W. O. Bentley. His aim was to build a car that was big and comfortable, yet also fast and enjoyable to drive.

That would certainly be a good description for their latest £220,000 Mulsanne. The first car to be named Mulsanne for nearly 20 years (named after the Mulsanne straight at Le Mans, where Bentleys have won 6 times), it is very different from the last one.

Externally, there is no mistaking this for any other marque. The styling may have been brought up to date, but the large grill and long bonnet couldn't really belong on any other car. The superb styling conveys a sense of elegance, whilst also hinting at the power in the V8 engine.

This new V8 engine has a capacity of 6.75 litres, generates 505bhp, and can produce 1020Nm of torque at just 1750rpm.

Despite this power, the Bentley Mulsanne is more fuel efficient than its predecessor, due to a technology called Variable Displacement that can intelligently deactivate four of the cylinders when idling, or cruising. These cylinders are used again instantly as soon as the driver asks for more power, and the whole process happens seamlessly.

The eight-speed automatic transmission also helps fuel economy, as it keeps the engine revving near to its most efficient rate.

Other clever technology includes Adaptive Cruise Control, in which the distance of cars in front are monitored by radar and the speed is adjusted accordingly, even braking sharply if there is risk of collision.

The interior is everything you would expect from a Bentley Mulsanne. From the California burr walnut, to the plush, extra thick pile carpet, to the choice of 24 leather hides for the upholstery.

The high level of soundproofing means the driver and passengers are transported in near silence, while the four-zone air conditioning keeps them all comfortable, whatever the weather.

And what if you don't want silence? An upgrade from the standard audio system (which sounds really good anyway) gives the owner a state-of-the-art Naim Audio system, providing 2,200 watts through 20 speakers. If this is half as good the sort of hi-fi Naim produces for the home, it must be the best audio system available for any car, bar none.