Bentley Mulsanne Driven

The Mulsanne is Bentley's all-new flagship, but is it a worthy replacement for the Arnage?

Evo rating
Price
from £220,000
  • Very fast, beautifully built, more driver focused than the Rolls Ghost
  • Will it bring new customers to the brand?

So what is it?

The Mulsanne is Bentley’s new £220,000 flagship, replacing the ancient (but much loved) Bentley Arnage, which finally went out of production a few weeks ago. The Mulsanne will be built at Crewe and deliveries will start this September.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

Technical highlights?

Bentley have stuck with the traditional 6.75-litre V8 engine but brought it bang up to date with loads of modifications including an all new crankshaft, pistons, cams with variable phasing and variable displacement (achieved by closing the valves on four of the eight cylinders for maximum fuel economy when cruising).

The result is even smoother running, a 15 per cent reduction in fuel consumption (every little helps…) and a monstrous 505bhp at 4200rpm and gargantuan 752lb ft of torque at just 1750rpm.

What’s it like to drive?

For a car that weighs in at hefty 2585kg; very good. Bentley didn’t want to make it any lighter as it felt that would have spoilt the driving experience, which is a strange thing to hear from a car company these days. Apart from the stiffness of the bodyshell (offering much better suspension control), the biggest change has to be the adoption of a new eight speed ZF gearbox that is so good at swapping cogs it’s next to impossible to spot when they happen. You’ll soon get done for speeding, though, as this thing flies. 0-100mph in 11.6secs isn’t hanging about, nor is a top speed in excess of 186mph but it’s the way the engine is only turning over at 1500rpm at 70mph that best illustrates the sheer effortlessness of this car.

How does it compare?

The obvious rival to the Mulsanne is the Roll Royce Ghost, which is equally as quick, just as expensive but isn’t nearly as driver focussed as the big Bentley. The Mulsanne is helped massively by the fact is comes equipped with much sportier tyres (optional 265/40 ZR21 were fitted to our test car) than the Rolls, which really help the handling when pressing on.

Anything else I need to know?

One of the big drawbacks to the Arnage was that the seating position wasn’t very adjustable (especially if you were taller than average) so you often had to put up with a compromised driving position. The new Mulanne corrects all of this so you can now sit much lower in the car and enjoy much more legroom than the Arnage offered. It’s amazing what a difference this better seating arrangement makes to the driving experience.

Overall, the new Mulsanne is a great improvement on what went before. It’s more rewarding to drive quickly, beautifully built from the very best materials and a worthy flagship for Bentley. My only worry is whether it looks different enough from what went before. I can see it’ll appeal to previous Bentley owners, but will it bring in new customers to the brand? Only time will tell.

Specifications

EngineV8, 6750cc, twin turbo
Max power505bhp/4200rpm
Max torque752lb ft/1750rpm
0-605.1secs
Top speed186mph
On saleSeptember

Most Popular

2021 BMW iX revealed – the next big leap towards BMW’s BEV future
BMW

2021 BMW iX revealed – the next big leap towards BMW’s BEV future

500bhp all-electric SUV leads the charge for BMW’s EV range expansion
11 Nov 2020
BMW M550i 2020 review – the M Performance 5-series has arrived, was it worth the wait?
BMW 5 Series

BMW M550i 2020 review – the M Performance 5-series has arrived, was it worth the wait?

A desirable balance of performance and control, beautifully built and charismatic. One of BMW’s best
12 Nov 2020
Cheap BMW M3? E46, E92 and F80 go head-to-head
BMW M3 saloon

Cheap BMW M3? E46, E92 and F80 go head-to-head

You might require a second mortgage to buy an E30 BMW M3, but fear not, as there are equally appealing M Power options that won’t test your credit sco…
14 Nov 2020
Renault Megane RS Trophy-R 2020 review - is Renault's record breaker worth its price tag?
Renault Megane RS

Renault Megane RS Trophy-R 2020 review - is Renault's record breaker worth its price tag?

The Trophy R is arguably the most focused, and extreme hot hatch ever made, albeit at a eye-wateringly high price.
17 Nov 2020