Bentley Mulsanne Speed

    Will the Bentley Mulsanne Speed be Robb Report's 2016 Car of the Year?

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    The Bentley Mulsanne Speed displays the gentle curves and regal lines of the base-model Mulsanne, but it has a more powerful V-8. The engine delivers 530 hp and 811 ft lbs of torque, and it is paired with a reworked 8-speed automatic transmission. Complementing the drivetrain enhancements is a new sport driving mode, which stiffens and lowers the suspension, adjusts the steering feedback, and loosens the reins on the traction-control system.

    The Mulsanne Speed is visually distinguished from the standard model by dark-tinted brightwork, rifled exhaust pipes, and Bentley’s first-ever directional wheels, which are milled from solid blocks of aluminum. As it does for the standard Mulsanne, Bentley offers a choice of more than 100 exterior colors, 24 colors for the interior’s leather, and 10 types of wood for the interior’s veneers. Owners can also order bespoke colors for the exterior and interior. The cabin can be finished with Bentley’s Entertainment Specification package, which includes twin electrically deployed picnic tables, a premium Naim audio system, and a pair of display screens mounted to the back of the front seats.

    Despite those amenities, the Mulsanne Speed’s primary allure is its ability to run brisk sprints and quickly shrink long stretches of asphalt. While the need for a 190-mph ultra-luxury sedan is debatable, the desire for one is understandable, and it is satisfied by this uniquely capable machine.

    Configuration: Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive sedan

    Engine: 6.75-liter twin-turbocharged V-8

    Transmission: 8-speed automatic

    Power: 530 hp at 4,200 rpm

    Torque: 811 ft lbs at 1,750 rpm

    Curb Weight: 5,977 lbs

    Zero to 60 mph: 4.8 seconds

    Top Speed: 190 mph

    Base Price: $335,600

    (bentleymotors.com)

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