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2013 Bentley Mulsanne Overview
Bentley's Mulsanne, the flagship of this iconic luxury brand, has often touted its sporty side as well as its class. For 2013, the company introduces what it haughtily dubs the Mulliner Driving Specification, along with tweaks to the Base trim.
All Mulsannes come with a handcrafted 6.75-liter twin-turbo V8 blasting 505 hp and a whopping 752 lb-ft of torque. And that’s just the beginning. A new 8-speed automatic transmission, coupled with rear-wheel drive, gives one a sense of command and power in the driver’s seat. The Mulsanne goes from 0 to 60 in 5.1 seconds and can reach a top speed of 184 mph. Yet it can also be gentle (and save a little gas) as variable displacement idles 4 cylinders while it's in cruise mode.
And, gosh, it’s beautiful. With a nearly seamless shell, the vehicle is as stately as it is strong, as elegant as it is exciting. The iconic Flying B ornament sits at the helm of the stainless steel grille; circular headlamps are modern from a tech standpoint but designed to evoke the 1930s. The glorious machine dances atop 20-inch silver aluminum wheels.
The inside is furbished to a T with a wide variety of leathers and wood against steel, including the imitable Bentley Walnut, harvested from the same source for 80 years. There’s all sorts of other handiwork you can see and feel, including hand-stitching and wool mats; Bentley craftspeople spend 170 hours on each interior.
Bentley also takes good care of its passengers, with both front and side mounted and side curtain airbags everywhere, antilock brakes and a traction control system.
The Mulliner Driving Specification (MDS) is intended to add a tad more sport to this machine, with a custom tweaked suspension, 21-inch alloy wheels, diamond quilted leather and custom interior finishes. But really every Bentley is truly unique, with a seemingly endless number of colors and bespoke features available for anyone to build his or her dream machine. The Mulsanne can include a rear refrigerator big enough for 2 champagne bottles, as well as custom glassware; a new option this year is a glass moonroof.
Is there anything to dislike about the Mulsanne? Not much, really. With its power under the hood, stunning looks and comfort in both front and rear, it’s no wonder that the Bentley captures the imagination of the 1% looking for their own private mobile paradise.
by Stephen Moramarco
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