Bentley announces new flagship Mulsanne Speed
This is the new Bentley Mulsanne Speed, billed by the British marque as "the world's fastest ultra-luxury driving experience".
Sitting at the very top of Bentley's already exclusive range, the Speed is a more powerful and sporting version of the Mulsanne luxury limousine. It will cost from £252,000 when it reaches UK showrooms shortly after it's officially unveiled at the Paris motor show next month.
The Speed keeps the twin-turbocharged 6.75-litre V8 engine of the regular Mulsanne, though power has been uprated from an already healthy 505bhp to an indecent 530bhp, thanks to revisions to the turbocharger controls and valve timing. In keeping with the distinctly muscular driving experience for which Bentleys are famed, torque has swelled too, from 1018Nm to a colossal 1098Nm.
This newfound power enables the 2.7 tonne Mulsanne to get from 0-60mph in just 4.9 seconds – some 0.2 seconds than the faster model. Top speed has increased by 6mph to 190mph.
It isn't all wanton power-mongering, however. The revised motor now features cylinder deactivation, which can shut down individual cylinders under light loads to save fuel. As a result of this, Bentley claims the Mulsanne is 13 per cent more fuel efficient than before.
To visually differentiate the model from the standard Mulsanne, the Speed gets a black finish to external trim pieces, including the front mesh grille, headlamps and rear lights. Its unique 21-inch wheels are available in a range of finishes, and are milled from solid blocks before being finished by hand.
The interior is similarly overhauled, and features as standard the 'Mulliner Driving Specification', which sees the addition of diamond-quilted seats and door panels, a special finish to the pedals and new headlining.
However, a perhaps incongruous addition to this uber-luxurious limo is a new Sport mode, which adjusts both the power steering weight and air suspension for "greater feedback and accuracy," according to Bentley.
Feeling flush? Order books open at the Mulsanne Speed's unveiling in Paris.