Bentley Mulsanne

Speed

Bentley Mulsanne Speed, static
Bentley Mulsanne Speed, face
Bentley Mulsanne Speed
Bentley Mulsanne Speed, profile
Bentley Mulsanne Speed, rear
Bentley Mulsanne Speed, cabin

IF you don't have a mega sized bank account or haven't just won a top lottery prize it's probably better if you stop reading now.

The following will only whet your appetite for a car most definitely can't afford.

The Bentley Mulsanne Speed is one of those cars that takes your breath away in terms of its build quality, performance and awe inspiring glamour.

But at £317,820 - including £62,000 worth of fitted options it's obviously not in everyone's price range.

For your money you get a craftsman-built car that's put together with loving care by skilled artisans at Crewe using everything from the finest hides for the upholstery to top quality wood veneer and carbon fibre inlays. It takes 400 hours to build one.

The car driven here even had a built-in bottle cooler tucked behind the rear centre armrest.

Touch a button and a frosted glass panel slides down to reveal your preferred bottle of bubbly and a set of three bespoke champagne flutes, a snip at just over £8,300 for cooler and glasses.

When it comes to performance the Mulsanne Speed is the ultimate.

With a 6.75-litre, 530bhp twin-turbo V8 engine under the bonnet the word speed is almost an unnecessary addition to the name.

Despite the car's weight of 2.7 tonnes it will rocket from zero to 62 miles per hour in just 4.9 seconds and on to an official top speed of 190mph, although I'm reliably informed that it's good for 200mph.

The engine is mated to a super smooth eight-speed automatic gearbox with both normal drive and sport settings as well as paddles behind the steering wheel for manual gear changes.

But whichever way you change gear in the Mulsanne Speed - there's also an "ordinary" Mulsanne and a long wheelbase version both of which are a mere 505bhp - the propulsion is akin to being in a private jet on take off.

The power just keeps coming as you hurl towards the horizon with the spine tingling sound from the rifled twin exhausts ringing in your ears despite the double glazed windows all round.

The aircraft scenario particularly applies to rear seat passengers travelling after dark when the interior of the car takes on an even more glamorous look.

Low level ambient lighting gently illuminates the diamond quilted leather panelled doors and from the back travellers have an imposing distant view of vividly lit dials and switches on the dashboard reminiscent of the cockpit of a private jet. This really is like first class air travel.

In some ways passengers in the back get the best deal, as at the touch of a button a 10.4 inch screen rises up from inside the backrests of each of the two front seats to provide whatever entertainment you want as part of the Bentley Theatre creation.

And while watching it both they - and front seat travellers - can enjoy the relaxation of specially developed massaging seats, again all in the finest diamond quilted leather.

These seats and the Bentley suspension ensure the Mulsanne is the most comfortable way to travel on four wheels.

Despite having the true upper crust, slightly snooty appearance of a true Bentley the Mulsanne Speed version has a slightly more menacing look - to mark it out as the high performance flagship - thanks to the darkly tinted grille and dark flying B emblem on the bonnet not to mention special 21-inch alloy wheels.

FAST FACTS

Bentley Mulsanne Speed

Price: £255,800

Mechanical: 537bhp, 6,752cc, 8cyl petrol engine driving rear wheels via 8-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 190mph

0-62mph: 4.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 18.8

Insurance Group: 50

C02 emissions: 342g/km

Bik rating: 37%

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