Bentley has added a sportier variant to its Mulsanne line-up with the new Speed model, which will be officially unveiled at the Paris Motor Show next month.
With 530 bhp and 811 lb ft, the reengineered powertrain, featuring Bentley’s 6¾-litre twin-turbo V8, enables the Speed to complete 0 to 60 mph in a claimed 4.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 190 mph. Bentley says the extra performance is matched by improved efficiency; a 13% gain means a range extended by 50 miles.
The new engine is paired with a recalibrated gearbox, which Bentley engineers say has been optimised for the new, higher wave of torque. A new “S” mode gives the driver more control, and maintains the engine speed above 2,000 rpm for faster turbo response.
In addition to the exisiting Bentley and Comfort modes, the suspension gets a new Sport setting to go with the increased power and acceleration. This has the effect of stiffening the air suspension and adjusts the steering “for greater feedback and accuracy”, according to Bentley.
Exterior styling cues include the application of a dark tint finish to the stainless steel matrix grilles that Bentley designers say is “unique in the automotive industry”, with the radiator grille, lower bumper grilles and wing vents all featuring this treatment. The headlights also show the same dark tint application, and at the rear of the car the taillights retain the “floating ellipse” design, but are similarly finished with a dark tint.
Twin rifled exhaust tailpipes add the finishing touch to the revised powertrain, while polished stainless steel Speed badging features on the front fender and door tread plate areas.
On the inside, the cabin gets a two-tone feel, with new stitch lines and a diamond quilted light-colour hide.