Complex Made Simple

Ten things you should know about the Bentley Mulsanne

The British luxury carmaker’s latest flagship model, the Mulsanne Speed, is just about ready to be rolled out for its dealers across the Middle East markets.

Beyond its astonishing performance and impeccable design, the Mulsanne Speed also carries a 35-year-long legacy of craft and engineering skills, representing the pinnacle of Bentley’s creations, since the first Bentley Mulsanne hit the road back in 1980.

Looking at the history of the Mulsanne, Aficionadobrings you ten impressive facts about the bespoke model which bring to the fore the brand’s respectable and inspiring legacy.

Let’s begin, shall we?

1. It takes nine weeks to build a Mulsanne; the engine alone takes up to 30 hours to assemblewith the interior of one Mulsanne requiring 170 hours of work.More than 125 hours are needed to create the bodyshell and the steering wheel alone takes 15 hours to make.

2. The name ‘Mulsanne’ is derived from Bentley’s racing history, where the brand scooped up five victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans between 1924 and 1930. The ‘Mulsanne Straight’ is the stretch of the Le Mans racecourse where cars reached their highest speeds.

3. A process called ‘superforming’ takes part of creating the front fenders of a Mulsanne. The same technique is used in aerospace manufacturing.

4. For the first time in a Bentley car, the Mulsanne’s engine is capable of shutting down four out of its eight cylinders when operating at lower speeds, to help reduce fuel consumption.

5. While other manufacturers employ robots to test the durability of a car’s hides, people of varying heights and weights test the Bentley Mulsanne’s seat hidesmore than 20,000 times.

6. Catering to its Middle East customers, Bentley released the ‘Mulsanne Majestic’ in 2014, a 15-piece limited-edition model created specifically for the GCC. They were distributed among the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

7. Similarly, in 2013, the British luxury carmaker produced the ‘Mulsanne Shaheen’, a special edition designed exclusively for the Middle East market. It was inspired by the Shaheen eagle, a regional bird of prey.

8. When nearing the end of the assembly line, each section manager conducts up to 100 checks before releasing the car to the next stage. This makes a total of more than 2,000 tests each vehicle undergoes during the last stages of its assembly.

9. In 2010, Breitling, the official watchmaker for Bentley, created an exclusive timepiece, Breitling for Bentley BO4 GMT Mulsanne.

10. The lead designer of the Mulsanne is Dirk van Braeckel, a Belgian designer who assisted in the creation of the Continental GT range.