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Car of the Month


More on the Bentley Mulsanne in this book:



Car of the Month - October 2009
Bentley Mulsanne, 1988, #HCX21273

Bentley Mulsanne

The manufacturer's team of engineers and designers during the period when developing the models which gave their debut in 1980 had listed these as "SZ-series". There was good reason to expect now that there had been the Bentley T2 and its pre-decessor Bentley T1 and previously the S-Series and R that the next Bentley would have a plain series letter; perhaps a letter/digit combination. By opting for a name instead the company caused a stir – the choice of the designation Bentley Mulsanne did surprise. The name was that of a part of the Sarthe course in France, were Bentley had been tremendously successful in the "24 Heures du Le Mans"; but that had been during the 20s and at the turn to the 30s.

Bentley Mulsanne

With the Bentley Mulsanne the motor car manufacturer not only decided to have in their new range of models a Bentley, too, but also expressed to be positively convinced that there was potential for the marque with the Winged-B on the radiator. – Such action had not been expected by quite a few because the previous had seen a considerable decline in Bentley sales as a direct result of poor marketing and zero-level-impetus to keep the marque's image at an attractive level. The new model though within a rather short period established itself as an attractive choice in a slightly different market segment from that of its sister models Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit and Rolls-Royce Silver Spur.

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Bentley Mulsanne

It is only fair to mention that only two years after the launch of the Bentley Mulsanne a considerably more powerful model was introduced in the form of the Bentley Mulsanne Turbo with most impressive acceleration and top speed. That model was an immediate success and no doubt did a fair share to lift the basic model to new heights, too. That was attractive for prospective purchasers who had less interest in outright performance than in superior comfort. After all the 6¾-Liter V8-engine in the form with no turbocharger did provide sufficient power. – That can be said even of those Bentley Mulsanne that were built for the US-market and had to be de-toxed by rather stringent emission control equipment. Inevitably a reduction in power resulted but that was hardly noticeable.

Some 30 years had passed and then a spectacular revival of the model designation was celebrated - when in 2009 at Pebble Beach in California, USA, the new flagship of the car maker from Crewe was launched in the form of the grand new Bentley Mulsanne 4-Door Sports Saloon.

Bentley Mulsanne

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