When it comes to cars like the Bentley Mulsanne Speed, I feel the need to “sum it up” when it comes to explaining its purpose and who I think it is best for. The organic lines of this modern retro-sleek grand cruiser beguile its actual heft, and despite the bulldog aggression of the front bumper, grill, and headlights, this vehicle has curves that would look good on a woman.
Driving the Bentley Mulsanne Speed at 100mph is akin to driving an ordinary car at perhaps half the speed. Bentley’s design of the suspension, steering, and transmission (not to mention engine) allow for surprisingly well-composed driving until you get to perhaps 130mph when you need to remind yourself that you are not, in fact, driving inside of a bank vault. A sensor (that I believe you can turn off) on the instrument panel lights up if the car believes you are tailing a car in front of you too closely. A host of reminders common in today’s luxo-sedans help you to simply point the car straight and apply force to the accelerator until you arrive at your destination.
I’ll say again that handling is very good given the size of the car. This is aided by a naturally long wheelbase of over 10 feet – which allows the Bentley Mulsanne Speed to handle better at turns even at high speeds. With that said, powerful cruising cars such as this are the happiest on long relatively straight roads. It would be a great endurance car given the mixture of performance and comfort. With that said, in the hills, on sharp, windy roads, you can easily imagine the appeal of a much smaller roadster, as this is no rally car. Powerful and gutsy with an audible yet dignified sound from the engine, I sometimes I think the Bentley Mulsanne Speed could easily eat a rally car – burp it out with appropriate social etiquette and then speed off on its merry way.
No one needs a Bentley anymore than they need a luxury mechanical watch. People buy these items because of how it makes them feel, and how it makes them appear to others. Few people in Western parts of the world like to overtly say they are trying to show off, but most people will do pretty much anything in order to do so. When you have disposable income and you want to have fun, this is the way to do it. Automobiles such as this thrive on their ability to offer a welcome sense of unnecessary excess. In fact, one might be able to define luxury as a concept as being “unnecessary excess.” You don’t need a Bentley, you want a Bentley… and the latter is something that the company is good at. Like its few competitors, Bentley makes a kick-ass driveable toy which currently tops out with the Bentley Mulsanne Speed. Its about showing off in the sense that you can have fun while parading your giant set of four wheels around with yourself and up to three friends.
Cabin amenities abound, and perhaps the biggest concern most Bentley Mulsanne Speed owners face is “front or rear seat” as both are good options depending if you wish to dive or merely enjoy the trip. The rear seat compartment isn’t perhaps as large as you might think given the size of the car, but you get adjustable seats (with massage), climate and entertainment options, privacy, as well as blissful quiet with the windows rolled up. Whether you are snoozing in the backseat or driving in the front, there are fewer ways to arrive to your location in pure style than in a Bentley Mulsanne Speed.
Bentley further does an excellent job at keeping it classy when it comes to design. Many luxury cars at this level go out of their way to astound and impress with showy features which mainly appeal to luxury novices. Bentley gets the notion that most of their clients are “familiar with luxury,” and while they want nice stuff, they don’t need to be reminded how nice their stuff is all the time. When I say that a car such as the Bentley Mulsanne Speed is conservative, that is what I mean. The car (and brand) assume that the owner has a degree of “luxury sophistication.” That they have been groomed to understand and appreciate luxury, while not wanting (or needing) to be reminded of it all the time. Most Bentley cars (there are always exceptions) exude that sort of self-assured confidence that their owners ideally have – which is what you should really be looking for if you plan on being wealthy for longer than an instant.
It’s fast and fun to drive (awful to park), and among the few super luxury cars meant for daily driving. The Bentley Mulsanne Speed is also an experience. No super luxury product is without its quirks, and while the interior is lavish and well-appointed, you won’t find ergonomics like a Lexus or up-to-the-minute electronic technology like more mass produced luxury cars. With that said, there aren’t features you’ll likely find missing in the Bentley Mulsanne Speed, and for the over-$400,000 price of most models, Bentley certainly shouldn’t hold back on the goodies. If you want to amuse yourself, you can try to find a list of the options available for the Bentley Mulsanne Speed to fathom all the decadencies Bentley has come up with to tempt its clients.
In truth, many watches would match this automobile well, but I am happy to report that so does the Breitling for Bentley GMT Light Body B04 S watch. When you actually pair the two together, I think most people will be surprised how well they match. From a distance, the Breitling and Bentley relationship might understandably seem odd, but when experienced together, they at the least are very like-minded colleagues. Prices for the Bentley Mulsanne Speed begin at about $335,000, but this particular version has options which bring it to a retail price of $507,879.96 (plus another $2,725 destination charge and $3,000 gas guzzler charge here in the USA). Price for this Breitling for Bentley GMT Light Body B04 S reference EB043335/BD78/232S/E20DSA.2 watch is $11,615. bentleymotors.com ・ Brielting for Bentley website
>Model: Bentley GMT Light Body B04 S reference EB043335/BD78/232S/E20DSA.2
>Price: $11,615 USD
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Bentley owner who wants to take his car ownership experience with him where vehicles can’t go.
>Best characteristic of watch: Comfortable to wear, highly functional daily wear with just enough design pizazz to make it stand out from the crowd. Certainly a successful car+watch collaboration piece.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Strap branding isn’t for everyone. Strap design can make it difficult to slip on and off one’s hand. Might be considered an odd choice if you don’t own a Bentley.
>Model: Mulsanne Speed
>Price: $507,879.96 as tested
>Size: 18 feet 3 inches long. 6 feet 4 inches wide. 5977 pound curb weight.
>Engine: 6.8 liter V8 with 530 bhp and 811 lb-ft torque
>0-60 mph: 4.9 seconds
>Fuel Consumption: 13mpg
>Would reviewer personally drive it: Well, sure, why not?
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Someone who utterly tires of being seen in lesser automobiles, who has the option of a driver at whim, and who may want to be the envy of other Bentley owners.
>Best characteristic of car: The most comfortable boat I’ve ever driven. Beautiful overall shape and profile. Feeling like you are utterly shielded from the world in your own private mobile living room. Drives like a 4,000-pound car but can weigh almost double.
>Worst characteristic of car: Large, thirsty, and difficult to justify to the uninitiated. Interior space isn’t a big as size of car could allow. Ergonomic and comfort quirks that accompany vehicles of this breed.