Automotive legends are seldom born these days. But recently, at the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance in Monterey, California, Bentley Motors unveiled the Mulsanne, the company’s all-new flagship grand tourer.
Hans Knol ten Bensel
A famous example
The new car was displayed alongside the 1930 8-litre. This historic Bentley car was first shown at the 1930 London Motor Show. It was the second-built 8-litre and was W.O. Bentley’s company car for two years. Capable of reaching more than 100 mph, the 8-litre demonstrated W.O. Bentley’s ambition and ability to build a grand luxury car capable of surpassing every other leading manufacturer of the day. A total of 100 cars were built in 1930 and 1931, which is still a fairly large number considering the unique character and qualities of this car.
A new masterpiece born in Crewe…
This early motoring masterpiece represented the last big Bentley that was designed, engineered and built from the ground up by Bentley engineers - until now.
Because 80 years later, conceived, styled and engineered entirely at Bentley’s headquarters in Crewe, England, the Mulsanne, with its completely new and unique platform, goes into production next year in a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility within the Crewe factory.
Introducing the Bentley Mulsanne at Pebble Beach, where Bentley was the featured marque, Dr. Franz-Josef Paefgen, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley Motors, commented proudly that the challenge set to Bentley engineers was to create a new grand Bentley that would stand as the pinnacle of British luxury motoring, offering the world’s most exclusive driving experience.
“They have responded to this challenge with real passion”, he continued, “and the result is a luxury grand tourer that sets new standards in terms of comfort, effortless performance and hand-crafted refinement – the very qualities for which Bentley is renowned.”
The design of the new car was of course in the hands of the Bentley design team, led by Dirk van Braeckel. They have created a flagship that offers the curved classic and also sporting styling cues long-associated with Bentley – but this time expressed in a contemporary way.
The Mulsanne name returns…
The return of the Mulsanne name to a car carrying Bentley’s iconic ‘Winged B’ emblem underlines the company’s racing pedigree and nowhere reflects that heritage better than the famed Le Mans circuit, the scene of no fewer than six Bentley triumphs. Few places offer a stronger or more emotive connection with the Bentley marque than the famed Mulsanne corner.
The Bentley Mulsanne will go on sale from mid 2010. It will also be displayed at the forthcoming IAA Frankfurt Motor Show (15-27th September, 2009) where Bentley Motors will provide us with additional product information… so look further at this site!