Bentley rarely redesigns its models; the automaker is known to keep a product around for over a decade occasionally throwing in few visual updates. This seems to be what is happening with the Mulsanne which replaced the Arnage in 2010.
Just as with its other models, from what we have seen, Bentley didn’t meddle much with the new 2017 Bentley Mulsanne. However, the British automaker has added a new variant to the lineup. The new Bentley Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase model joins the base Mulsanne and the Speed.
2017 Bentley Mulsanne Exterior
Five years is a long time without a visual update in the automotive market with dynamics changing every now and then. Nonetheless, the Bentley Mulsanne has managed to survive. But finally the British automaker, Bentley is set to offer some much needed mid-cycle refresh but it is not as extensive as many people hoped.
New for 2017 is an updated grille and front bumper. The new grille stretches 3.1 inches wide and sports stainless steel vertical slats as opposed to the matrix mesh on the outgoing models. This grille can be traced to the R-Type Continental and Bentley Embirico models of the past. The grille is flanked by a pair of new LED headlights with adaptive technology which features beam patterns that adjust automatically according to driving conditions.
The DRLs are also updated while the bumper has been modified to be a single piece featuring B-shaped elements on the sides while its center unit mimics the grille. Its side air vents feature matrix grille layouts while the middle vent features vertical slats similar to the upper grille.
On the sides, the windows are finished in brighter chrome similar to the grille as well as a B-shaped wing vent on the lower section of the fender. Other features remain as those of the outgoing model.
The rear features a wider bumper (1-inch wider) and does away with the bulge under its trunk-lid. The trunk-lid features a thicker chrome strip. Its taillights are B-shaped and feature two main lights instead of three on the outgoing models. The vehicle rides on 21-inch alloy wheels but there is an option for 21-inch wheels.
2017 Bentley Mulsanne Interior
Inside, the cabin comes largely unchanged from the outgoing model. The model features the same dashboard covered in stretches of wooden and leather surfaces. However, the new model comes with 13-hand selected wood veneers and unique glass switchgear. It also features a wide center stack, the same 4-spoke steering wheel as the outgoing model and two-tone door panels whose upper section feature wooden surfaces.
Seats can be had in two styles, either flute or quilted and customers will select between 24 leather colors and between a single or two-tone finishes.
Things get more exciting in the tech’ department; the main feature is the new infotainment system. The system is integrated to an 8.0-inch touch-screen that features updated connectivity, navigation and audio systems. The screen is also connected to a 60 GB hard drive.
Rear passengers will enjoy entertainment from two, 10.2-inch Bentley Entertainment Tablets mounted on the seatbacks of front seats. The tablets are equipped with Wi-Fi, 4G, Bluetooth, and users have access to Spotify, Google Play, Skype and other Android apps. The tablets have 32 GB of on-board storage and can be used away from the vehicle such as in the office or at home. Occupants can use them to stream audio or even send destinations to the vehicle’s navigation system.
For music lovers, the 2017 Bentley Mulsanne is one mobile studio that can host a live concert, no pun intended. There is an option for a Bentley premium sound system that comes with guess what! 20 speakers, 20 channels, super tweeters and a 2,200-watt amplifier.
For safety, the Mulsanne features High Beam Assist, Automatic Stability Control (ASC) and Blind Spot Warning to name just but a few.
The extended Wheel Base Mulsanne
This model will be a major hit particularly in China where many people like being chauffeured around as they seat at the rear enjoying the ride. The model offers a 9.8-inch longer wheelbase which improves the rear legroom which is already sufficient. The model also gets airline-style leg rests which extend outwards offering passengers 3 seating positions i.e. upright, relaxed or reclined.
There is also a center console between the rear seat which is made of handcrafted veneer, glass, metal and leather. It houses pen and cup holders, USB ports, and a stowage area. There is also an option for electric curtains, a folding table and a large, tilting and sliding sunroof at the rear.
Engine Specs and Performance
Under the hood, the Mulsanne comes unchanged. It still features the twin-turbocharged 6.75 L V-8 engine which spits out 505 hp and 752 lb-ft of toque in the base Mulsanne and the Extended Wheelbase model.
On the Mulsanne Speed, the engine is tweaked to produce 530 hp and 811 lb-ft of torque. The engine is paired to an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission system. The base model sprints from 0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds and has a top speed of 184 mph. The Extended Wheelbase model is a little slower due to its extra weight.
The Mulsanne speed on the other hand sprints from 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds and reaches a top speed of 190 mph. The engine is also paired with variable cam phasing and cylinder deactivation which help reduce it C02 emission to 342g/km and improve its fuel economy to 19.3 mpg in combined drives (UK testing cycle).
Price and release date
Bentley has not yet announced the official price or release date of the 2017 Bentley Mulsanne. We expect these details to be communicated when the model makes an appearance at the 2016 Geneva Auto show in March.
According to rumors, the model will cost slightly more than the current model’s $290,000. The model will then be availed to Bentley dealerships later in the summer 2016.
The 2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II will be the Mulsanne’s biggest rival.