Goodwood Festival of Speed seems to be the place to be to sniff and get some dope on the latest happenings in the auto industry. Luckily, for true-blooded (read: stubborn) petrol heads like me, most of it is about hotter and more powerful cars and their debuts, the latest being that from the stables of Bentley.
Bentley CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer has hinted at a more powerful Mulsanne that will be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in October. The CEO gave the indirect hint during a chat with Auto Express at Goodwood, saying that the high-performance Mulsanne would fit with Bentley’s “sporting luxury” image.
Well, which model of Bentley doesn’t do justice to the luxury image, Mr. Dürheimer? Being “sporting” is a different matter though as Bentleys, heavily endowed ladies that they are, were traditionally not associated with the tag generally reserved for other more nimble, petite and equally expensive marques. That all changed, a wee bit, with the recently introduced Continental GT3-R, and, the new Mulsanne is set to follow the fast sibling’s footsteps.
The spiced up Mulsanne is likely to retain the 6.75-liter twin-turbo V8 engine, but, as you might have guessed, with a major tweak. The output of the monster-of-an-engine will increase from 505 bhp (377 kW) to around 550 bhp (410 kW).
How will that translate to on-road performance? Well, let’s look at the drag-strip potential first, and, it should be yummy! The hotter Mulsanne would probably do 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) in less than 5 seconds. This is an assumption after taking into consideration the numbers churned out by the stock Mulsanne, which needs 5.3 seconds for the sprint and tops out at 184 mph (296 km/h).
The stock version weighs 2,585 kg (5,700 lbs). But the new Mulsanne will also go through a weight-loss programme just like the GT3-R did before Bentley put the “sporting” tag on it. The Continental lost around 100 kg (220 lbs) during the makeover. That kind of trimming, alongside some chassis tweaks, should see Mulsanne burn some serious rubber and leave some cars in the dust trail, rather luxuriously I may add. After all, it is a Bentley.