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2015 Bentley Mulsanne

Overview
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2015 Bentley Mulsanne Review

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As Bentley's flagship sedan, the 2015 Mulsanne is one of the most opulent and expensive vehicles money can buy. To do that you'll need at least $310,000 lying around or just opt to sell your house. If the latter is the case, the Bentley might be an upgrade. Dressed in the finest furnishings, the Mulsanne's interior drips of opulence, while its majestic exterior size announces the arrival of royalty. Powering this 3-ton behemoth is an equally prodigious V8 engine that creates locomotive-type thrust. The new Mulsanne Speed model has sportier ambitions, but like its Rolls-Royce rivals this British ultra-luxury vehicle's best asset is its ability to pamper passengers. Other sedans offer more technology for less money, but they can't match the panache of the Bentley badge.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're seeking one of the finest passenger sedans money can buy, the Mulsanne brings the kind of pedigree and pampering expected in a car costing as much as a house. And while its $310,000 starting price is unobtainable for most buyers, it's still $100,000 less than a Rolls-Royce Phantom.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Ultra-luxury sedans are not solely the domain of the British. Everyone from Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW and Lexus to – yes, it's true – Hyundai offers vehicles that will coddle you for far less investment. These mainstream automakers also boast larger dealer networks for service and sales.

What's New for 2015

2015 sees the introduction of the Bentley Mulsanne Speed, which offers more power, sportier suspension tuning and its own exterior and interior aesthetics. The standard model also benefits from engine and transmission enhancements for a more refined driving experience.

Driving the Mulsanne
Driving Impressions

You don't so much drive the Mulsanne as you float in it. Comfort is this big Bentley's raison d'être. The suspension vanquishes road imperfections, and the cabin is so hushed...

... that even the 6.8-liter twin-turbo V8 is muted. That massive powerplant makes massive power: 505 horses and 752 lb-ft of torque, all sent to the rear wheels via a smooth 8-speed automatic transmission. The new Mulsanne Speed ups those figures to 530 horsepower and a whopping 811 lb-ft of torque. This translates to a 0-60-mph sprint of 5.1 seconds in the standard model and 4.8 for the Mulsanne Speed – impressive numbers for a 3-ton luxury liner. Though the Drive Dynamics Control system can optimize suspension and steering for a sportier feel, this sedan is most at ease as highway cruiser, not corner-carver. Maneuvering around town is manageable, but there's no denying the Mulsanne's size, which only grows in small parking lots.

REAR-SEAT UTOPIA
Many Mulsanne buyers will not be the drivers. They'll be enjoying the rear seat while being chauffeured. And there is much to enjoy beyond sheer legroom. The Mulsanne's rear seats recline and offer heat, ventilation and massaging functionality. You may just want to hold board meetings back there.

POWER-ASSIST DOORS
Ever second-guessed whether you completely closed that door? You won't in the Mulsanne. Even if you don't shut it all the way, the vehicle is smart enough to do it for you, providing a gentle tug that sequesters you inside the Bentley's automotive cocoon. Similar outward assistance is offered upon exit.

2015 Bentley Mulsanne Details
Interior

Over a dozen hides from Scandinavian bulls line the Mulsanne's interior. Why Scandinavian? The region's cool climate means fewer insects, and that means fewer hide blemishes. Abundant wood and stainless steel highlight this luxurious cocoon, though the latter has been polished to a state that it can be blinding when hit by sunlight. Rear-seat legroom comes in spades and the outboard seats, like the front seats, offer heat and ventilation. Unlike ultra-luxury sedans including its own little brother the Flying Spur, individual rear seats are no longer available in the Mulsanne, but this Bentley does offer rear footrests and motorized picnic tables.

Exterior
2015 Bentley Mulsanne photo

At over 18 feet long, it's an understatement to say the Mulsanne makes a statement. At this length, this exotic sedan is longer than some full-size pickups. Aside from its prominent proportions, further attention is commanded from the Bentley's massive radiator grilles, sparkling jeweled headlights and tapered rear haunches. Like the interior, fine exterior touches abound. The doors offer opening and closing assistance, and when parked the side mirrors fold inward to prevent being damaged. The new Mulsanne Speed distinguishes itself with tinted stainless-steel treatments and headlights, plus four new exterior paint choices added to the 100-plus already available.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2015 Bentley Mulsanne comes with heated 14-way-power front seats, 8-way-power rear outboard seats with heat control, 8-inch high-resolution infotainment screen (neatly concealed behind a veneered panel), satellite navigation system, tinted glass sunroof, quad-zone climate control, power-operated trunk and voice control for many operations. The standard audio system boasts 14 speakers, a 6-disc CD changer, a 60-gig hard drive, plus inputs for SD cards and iPods. Interior and exterior color choices abound, down to the seatbelt hue. Bentley's flagship sedan rides on 20-inch alloy wheels, and its cloud-like ride comes courtesy of an air suspension.

Optional Equipment

Most likely, the Mulsanne you want is the Mulsanne you'll get. These handmade vehicles are tailored to their customers' desires. Among additions are a 2,200-watt/20-speaker Naim audio system, heated and ventilated front and rear seats with massage functionality, and 21-inch wheels in place of the standard 20-inch versions. The Entertainment Specification includes electrically deployed rear-seat picnic tables optimized for iPads and Apple keyboards. The option features a rear-seat entertainment system and in-car Wi-Fi. Driving and safety features include adaptive cruise control and rear- and side-view cameras. For serious rear-seat indulgence, a refrigerated bottle cooler with champagne flutes is offered for a cool $10,755.

Under the Hood

The Mulsanne gets its muscle from a big, twin-turbocharged V8. The engine's 505 horsepower is impressive, but even more so is its prodigious 752 lb-ft of torque, which helps off-the-line performance. The 2015 Mulsanne Speed increases both those numbers via engine tweaks that include a new head design and higher compression ratio. The 2015 Mulsanne can go 0-60 mph in just over five seconds and has a top speed of 184 mph, while the Mulsanne Speed goes 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds and has a top speed of 190 mph. All Mulsanne models are rear-wheel drive and feature an 8-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is not a strong point, reflected in its 13 mpg/combined EPA rating and $3,700 gas-guzzler tax.

6.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8
505 horsepower @ 4,200 rpm (530 horsepower in Mulsanne Speed)
752 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750 rpm (811 lb-ft in Mulsanne Speed)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 11/18 mpg

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