The Bentley Mulsanne Speed has been touted by the marque as “the fastest ultra-luxury driving experience in the world”, which is quite a bold claim for a company that makes its money by ensuring that people are dying to be seen in the back seat of one of its cars.
Autocar’s Steve Sutcliffe has refused to take Bentley at the word and flown out to Miami (it’s a hard life) to test one. In his engaging video, Sutcliffe says that the Speed is ‘magnificent’ yet it still feels like the ‘loveliest limousine’ rather than a performance car. This is not, however, a bad thing.
Sutcliffe goes on to say that the different driving modes, which allow you to adjust engine and throttle map settings, make a huge difference – especially to the steering, which becomes purer and more direct in sport mode. ‘The ride quality is absolutely beautiful’, he says ‘even in sport, it’s better than pretty much any car on the road’. He also notes that it corners far better than the regular Bentley Mulsanne.
The sound quality is pretty good too, with the video demonstrating that, despite the car’s 6.75 litre twin-turbo V8 engine, noise in the cabin is minimal. Better still, that engine, which produces 530BHP and 811 ft-lb of torque, really does ensure the 2.7 tonne car can hold its own on the road: “it’s completely magnificent how it picks itself up and surges towards the horizon.” The flappy-paddle gears, linked to an 8-speed ZF gearbox also helps the driver get into the sporty spirit.
Inside, of course, it’s far from a performance car. Sutcliffe says that “the Mulsanne speed’s cabin is genuinely a thing of beauty..” you certainly know your quarter of a million pounds is well spent! Features include quilted stitching on the seat backs, drilled alloy pedals, optional iPads in the folding rear tables and carbon fibre accents on the door tops. “It feels so luxurious, so expensive – it doesn’t matter which seat you’re in.”
The reporter concludes his video with the tantalising comment that the car is “everything they said it is and a whole lot more besides”. We really can’t wait to get our hands on one now!