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At the gala opening of one of the world’s largest Bentley dealerships in Beijing, the luxury British automaker unveiled its Mulsanne Diamond Jubilee Edition in honor of Queen Elizabeth II.
The new dealership opening also coincided with Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday, so it makes sense that the limited edition Mulsanne pays homage to Her Majesty. Back in 2002, Bentley’s Mulliner division created the State Limousine for the Queen, and now the same group will be creating just 60 examples of the Diamond Jubilee Mulsanne.
Each vehicle created presents a year of Her Majesty’s reign and will be distinguished by a range of exquisite, handcrafted features that pays tribute to the Diamond Jubilee. In all four headrests is gold stitching embroidery while veneered picnic tables in the rear cabin are decorated with a gold overlay representing the royal carriage. Highly-polished, stainless steel treadplate plaques sport ‘Bentley Mulliner, England’ and ‘Diamond Jubilee Edition’ script to designate the special edition.
The debut of the Mulsanne Diamond Jubilee edition in China may seem strange – since you know, it wasn’t in England and all – but China is now the largest market for Bentley Motors. So we’ll just call it a good business decision to show off its newest special edition model in its largest market first.
“This series of special cars, hand-built by our Mulliner Division, is our way of reciprocating the appreciation for British institutions, creativity and services we have been shown in China. And as proud holders of a Royal Warrant we also wanted to provide some memorable examples of British technology and craftsmanship,” said Richard Charlesworth, Director of Royal and VIP Relations for Bentley Motors.
GALLERY: Bentley Mulsanne Diamond Jubilee Edition
Bentley is adding prestige and personalization to its Mulsanne with a new high class trim level called the Executive Interior, bringing the latest in multimedia connectivity to the English automakers flagship.
There are two choices within this high class trim level, either the theater specification or iPad spec executive interior. A Mulsanne takes Bentley workers 170 hours to fully assemble and finish, with some of the bespoke options on the car taking quite a bit of finesse to install. Alasdair Stewart, a member of the board for sales and marketing comments ”…We’re confident they(Mulsanne) will meet the expectations of customers needing a business-focussed environment or simply a relaxing space where films, music, television and the internet can be enjoyed.”
The theater specification Mulsanne will come outfitted with a 15.6 inch HD LED screen which flips down out of the roof for both rear seat passengers to enjoy. There will also be an eight inch screen in each headrest so occupants can enjoy their entertainment separately if they prefer. The system is controlled by an iPod touch which allows the vehicles occupant to control all the multi-media through the use of a Bentley app. A Macintosh computer mounted in the trunk can be utilized through the 15.6 HD screen to have all the benefits of a full computer at your fingertips. The last most tantalizing customization incorporated in the theater spec Mulsanne is a built in bottle cooler with space for two champagne bottles and three custom made champagne flutes.
The iPad version of the Mulsanne adds more gadgets, namely iPads, to the rear seat passengers already screen filled seating area. The iPads, one for each rear passenger, are fitted into small flip down airplane style tray tables that can be stored in the seat completely out of sight when needed.
The Mulsanne adds these new trims to keep up with the fast paced technology world, and to keep its business geared clientelle connected while riding in style.
GALLERY: Bentley Mulsanne Executive Interior Concept
The Mulliner Driving Specification package will add some performance features to the Mulsanne that will give the 6.75-litre V8 luxury touring sedan a new sports car tinge. The key feature for performance will be the new ‘sport’ setting available on the cars adjustable airbag suspension setup. The sport setting will provide advanced handling, body control and road grip thanks to the airbags stiffening up a bit.
The Mulliner Driving Specification will receive new 21-inch, light aluminium alloy wheels fitted with titanium fasteners that can come painted or polished and with Bentley’s self-leveling logo in the middle.
Also outfitted with the Mulliner Driving Specification are sweeping wing vents made from cast polished stainless steel. The vents are meant to boost the upscale look of the Bentley as well as differentiate the Mulliner Driving Specification from the stock Mulsanne.
To top it all off the Bentley flagship will recive a large range of beskpoke options so that each customer will get a customized version of the same car. Some of the custom features are color choice on just about everything, gas and brake pedals, over 22 leather choices and bespoke leather perforation.
Watch for more during our coverage live at the Geneva Motor Show.
Defining the one percent is messy math business that we’re far from doing, but maybe you can reach this stellar status by demonstrating your wealth through gifts.
If that is the case, hip hop entertainer Birdman certainly made the cut in the video below where he gave away a Rolls-Royce Ghost and Bentley Mulsanne — along with a second Bentley that he kept for himself.
If you aren’t up to date on the world of ultra-luxury cars, here’s a quick rundown.
The Bentley Mulsanne launched in 2010 and is the company’s sedan, sporting a 6.75-liter twin-turbo V8 making 505 horsepower and 753 fl-lbs of torque. You can choose to enjoy that power behind the wheel, though at the $290,000 starting price some people may prefer just to pay a chauffeur. Little Wayne got the Mulsanne, while Birdman’s brother and business partner Ronald “Slim” Williams walked away the happy new owner of a Rolls-Royce Ghost.
The Ghost starts at $380,000, and packs 563 horsepower and 575 ft-lbs of torque. Realistically, people buying these cars aren’t all that concerned with the power specs. Badges and emblems emblazoned on the body and throughout the vehicle mean more to status symbols than big power numbers. The interiors ain’t bad either.
Either car offers a splendid example of what it feels like to swim in fine leather and rich wood. Ferris Beuller said it best, “It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.” Of course in that movie he’s referring to a Ferrari 250 GT California, but the words still ring true.
If you’ve been scratching your head over these names, this “Lil Wayne”, Ronald “Slim” Williams and a grown man who walks around calling himself “Birdman”, you probably don’t have a taste for rap music.
The three men referred to above are responsible for Cash Money Records, the label behind some of today’s pop icons like Drake, Nicki Minaj, T-Pain and among others, the predator look-a-like himself: Lil Wayne. Know then or not, the first guy in the video is Birdman and these cars cost him a total of well over $1 million so he must be doing something right.
You can watch the video below.
Before the Mulsanne, Bentley had the Arnage luxury sedan, which over the years was also offered as a convertible called the Azure and a coupe called the Brooklands.
Since the Mulsanne was launched in 2010, it has so far been only offered as a one-size fits all luxury sedan. Now according to Bentley’s CEO Wolfgang Durheimer, all that will change very soon.
In a recent interview, he talked about expanding their current line-up. Durheimer said; “With the Mulsanne we get requests all the time for a longer wheelbase model, for instance. The question is whether we do it as a special order or put it on the model line. We are evaluating it, but I have no doubt we could also sell that type of car in the US and China.”
He also added that a coupe and convertible model could possibly be added on this platform.
He went on to say that he also wants to expand the Continental-series line-up. They already offer a coupe, sedan and convertible on this platform, but perhaps could go into lighter-weight models and special models.
With Bentley looking to expand their product line, they must be confident that the world’s economy will do better in coming years. We hope so.
Take care of business on the go. Busy executives will be able to multitask while being driven to their next meeting, thanks to the Bentley Mulsanne Executive Interior Concept.
Premiering last week at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show, the Mulsanne Executive Interior is a multimedia connectivity concept that was showcased in the hand-crafted cabin of the Bentley Mulsanne. Boasting an impressive array of bespoke business, comfort and entertainment features, this interior took over 170 hours to create.
If you’re sitting in the back seat, you can take advantage of individual Apple iPad workstations with full internet access that sit on integrated retractable picnic tables. If you want to take a break from work, watch a movie on the large, drop-down LED screen.
Feeling a little thirsty? You’ll find a bespoke bottle cooler in rear center console that comes equipped with an illuminated, double-glazed frosted glass door. In the way of lighting, there are multi-directional reading lights for each rear passenger that can be operated with Apple devices, and mood lighting in the rear center console keeps stowage areas well lit. Even the docking station and cupholders are illuminated for extra brightness.
As for the stylish interior, the Mulsanne showcases a distinctive Yachting-style veneer, blending light and dark contrasting tones. And for one of its many finishing touches, Bentley commissioned a Tibaldi fountain pen (found in the center armrest) that takes its cues from the Mulsanne’s knurled-metal rotary switchgear.
Although it’s just a concept, it’s amazing to see the next generation of conveniences that will hopefully be available in vehicles in the near future.
GALLERY: Bentley Mulsanne Executive Interior Concept
Block the sun’s rays with the new Bentley sunglasses. But keep your eyes on them at all times, because you can’t afford to misplace them.
Made from 18 karat gold, the Bentley sunglasses do more than just give you an air of supreme coolness. They were designed to complement the Bentley Mulsanne, and if you can afford that luxe sedan (it comes with a price tag of $285,000), you can probably afford the sunglasses.
Starting in price from about $16,285 for the gold frame sunglasses, if you upgrade to the platinum frames, you can expect to pay $50,500. Both versions feature hand-crafted knurling along the ear pieces, along with an enameled Bentley B and a case that uses the same quality cowhide as the car’s seats. To protect your peepers, its lenses offer 100-percent ultraviolet protection.
You can’t just buy these sunglasses anywhere – you need to get them custom-ordered. You can buy them now in Russia and China, and later this year, you can purchase them in the U.K., U.S., and Middle East.
ArmorTech Motors out in Russia is adding even more luxury to Bentley‘s Mulsanne by offering a few options to extend the wheelbase and raise the roof. Two options are available for the Mulsanne; ArmorTech is willing to lengthen the wheelbase either 20-inches or 45-inches depending on what you’d like. Those looking for more headroom can also have the roof raised 3.9-inches.
The stretched Mulsanne truly looks like a limousine after ArmorTech’s treatment on it. Along with the stretching, ArmorTech also does the requisite changes to the vehicle’s brakes, chassis and suspension to make it safe to drive.
Now that there’s more interior space, ArmorTech can also outfit your Mulsanne with a variety of in-car-electronics or even a partition wall that’s hand-crafted.
No pricing was announced for the Mulsanne options, but we’re guessing it’s not cheap.
GALLERY: ArmorTech Motors Stretched Bentley Mulsanne
The rich have spoken, and their servants have voted for them: the Bentley Mulsanne is the preferred ride of ballers around the world, according to a survey in Centurion Magazine.
The magazine is published by American Express, and only available to the lauded gentry who hold the Centurion Card—the black card. Their first Reader’s Choice survey attempted to answer the pressing questions of the jet-set lifestyle: which Girard-Perregaux tourbillon to pair with your William Westmancott bespoke suit, the merits of the Gulfstream G650 vs. the Challenger 604, the important things in life—and the Bentley Mulsanne took the Best Limousine/Saloon Car category in the only award that truly matters to those that know.
The Mulanne beat out the Aston Martin Rapide, the Maserati Quattroporte, the “they still make those?” Maybach, and a gilded Victorian sedan chair carried by swarthy, oiled manservants to win the award. Readers from Europe, the Middle East, Hong Kong, and the 40/40 Club on West 35th Street chose the Mulsanne for its handcrafted interior, new yet evolved styling, discreet technological advancements, and its blunt, cow-catcher front end that makes it easy to intimidate the serfs. As Kanye West put it, “address me as your highness, high as United, 30,000 feet up and you are not invited.”
Nowadays pretty much every luxury car company has a muscle car that masquerades around as a family sedan, but back in the 1980′s, there was only one such vehicle, the Bentley Turbo R.
This iconic automobile still has a strong following and if rumors are correct, its fans will soon be celebrating the arrival of a new version, only this time, the Turbo R will be a luxury coupe.
Planned as a rival for the Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe, the new Turbo R will be based on the chassis of the current Mulsanne sedan. It will also benefit from its mechanicals, using a modified version of the same 6.75-liter, twin-turbo V8. Power is expected to be in the 600 hp range, ensuring effortless cruising.
This new model is expected to hit the showrooms in 2013, so look for concept versions of this super coupe to start appearing either later this year, or early next year.
[Source: Auto Express]
It isn’t very often that we get a chance to see what goes on behind the scenes, when it comes to styling cars, especially ultra exclusive vehicles like the Bentley range.
Now, thanks to an exhibit entitled “An Unbroken Line,” unveiled at the company’s headquarters in Crewe, Cheshire, United Kingdom, now we do.
The exhibit follows the creation of Bentley’s latest offerings, including the Continental GT and Mulsanne, from styling sketches to full blown reality, including computer design renderings and full-size, highly complex clay models. The exhibit also touches on engineering aspects, including how aluminum superforming (a technique commonly used in the aerospace industry), is used to shape the final contours of the actual car.
In addition, there’s also an element of heritage in the exhibit, drawing from 90 years of design and creativity, looking at how signature ‘Bentley’ traits, such as sweeping curves on the flanks of the car; the infamous ‘Teddy Bear Ears’ and inverted needles on instruments, came into being and why many are still used to this very day.
“What I particularly like about the exhibition is the sheer number and variety of interesting objects we’ve been able to bring together for the very first time, it is quite a collection,” mentioned Dick Van Braeckel, Bentley’s Director of Design and Styling, during a recent statement about the exhibit.
“It is also fascinating to see just how talented the early Bentley designers really were – the beauty of their concept sketches and sheer precision of their technical drawings still inspires my own team to this day.”
The exhibit will run throughout 2011 and although not open to the general public, enthusiast group tours on certain Fridays can be arranged in advance. For more information, click on the link below.
Bentley has announced that all build slots for their new Mulsanne sedan are sold out until 2012, not bad for a car that retails for $285,000 in the USA.
The British luxury car maker said that they will be increasing production in the future to help with the pent-up demand, but that’s not saying much; each car is made by hand, with 86 hours going into the paintwork alone! On the other hand, the luxury market is a fickle one, with a product only staying hot until the newest and shiniest object comes along to dethrone the current champ. We suspect that in 2 years, something else will come along to dethrone the Mulsanne as the car to have. In the mean time, look for the new Bentley to appear in rap videos starting towards the end of the year.
GALLERY: Bentley Mulsanne At Pebble Beach
Bentley‘s Mulsanne has made its first video debut, leisurely touring the Scottish countryside while its gentleman owner pilots his motorcar with chamber music playing in the background. If this seems a little hoity-toity to you, just wait, because in six months time, the Mulsanne will be in another kind of video, sitting on 22′s, with some hoodrat shaking her behind while perched on the hood, while Soulja Boy premieres his newest dance in his new hit single with Justin Beiber. Rest assured that AutoGuide enjoys seeing the status symbols of the ultra-wealthy become co-opted by the nouveau riche, but consider this the (literal) calm before the storm.
Video after the jump:
When somebody introduces himself as “Mick Alebon, Senior Production Manager, Leather and Seats Centre of Excellence,” you better sit up straight and listen to what he’s got to say.
As part of a series of preview videos supporting the all-new Bentley Mulsanne, Alebon takes viewers on a tour of the handcrafted materials and craftsmanship that are found in the car.
For example, the wood lacquer is applied in five coats…and is left for three days in order to properly cure.
We can’t say much more about the process — it should be seen to be believed. Click over the jump for the video and feel free to browse the galleries below:
GALLERY: Bentley Mulsanne at Pebble Beach
GALLERY: Bentley Mulsanne Debut in Frankfurt
Automakers join exodus of high-end marques that already includes Ferrari and Maserati
Despite the huge concentration of exotic and high end cars in Los Angeles, many exclusive automakers won’t be in attendance at this year’s annual LA Auto Show. The latest two to drop from the list are Bentley and Lamborghini. That means attendees won’t be able to see the amazing new Reventón Roadster or the massive Mulsanne luxury sedan, with both vehicles having recently made their official world debuts at the Frankfurt Auto Show. The Mulsanne, also made an appearance at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance earlier this year.
Bentley’s Pebble Beach debut proved successful and was part of the brand’s approach to better utilize its resources, by showing the vehicle in front of a crowd where almost everyone in attendance could buy the vehicle – or a few of them. Official auto shows, like in Los Angeles, don’t usually bring buyers, however, the media exposure also has a lot of value in spreading the word about a new product.
High end automakers have been hit particularly hard in the recent recession and many are still scaling back to meet decreased demand. With far fewer vehicle sold than a Toyota or General Motors, every unit moved by a company like Lamborghini represents a much higher percentage of overall sales. In total, this year Lambo’s U.S. sales are down roughly 40 percent, while Bentley’s have been chopped in half.
Other automakers that have already announced they will be no-shows include Ferrari/Maserati and Aston Martin, which recently said it will have a dealer display. Unfortunately, this means we don’t see the new 458 Italia, GranCabrio or Rapide either.
GALLERY: Bentley Mulsanne Debut in Frankfurt
GALLERY: Lamborghini Reventon Roadster Debut in Frankfurt