Car of the Year 2016 | #9: Bentley Mulsanne Speed
A top luxury comfort car with a sports soul
Engine: 6.75-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 | Power: 530 hp at 4,200 rpm | Zero to 60 MPH: 4.8 seconds | Top Speed: 190 MPH | Starting Price: $335,600
Many of the judges’ comments about the Mulsanne Speed concerned whether it would be better to drive Bentley’s flagship sedan yourself or hire a chauffeur and take a seat in the back. Ravi Mehta would choose the latter. “Why would you want to sit in the front seats when the rear is so amazingly comfortable?” he asked. In addition to comfort, the Mulsanne Speed can offer the convenience of a refrigerator and a trio of crystal Champagne flutes. Mehta recommended those optional features. “Please pop the Krug,” he said. Bret Morrison agreed that the vehicle offers a better experience for passengers than for the driver. “I will buy one when I lose my license from speeding in the Ferrari,” he said.
“I never wanted to leave the backseat. I kept finding excuses to ride along with the judges.” —Laura Burstein, Robb Report contributing writer
Other judges enjoyed their time behind the wheel. “This would be a fantastic car to drive cross-country in,” mused Jamie McCourt. “It is surprisingly easy to drive, given how long it is.” John Plueger liked the car’s performance, which is spurred by a twin-turbocharged V-8 that produces 530 hp and 811 ft lbs of torque. “It’s a top luxury comfort car with a sports soul,” he said.
Prodigious power notwithstanding, the Mulsanne Speed was praised primarily for its trappings and trimmings. “Superb craftsmanship throughout,” said Gary Spratling. Added Sebastien Silvestri, “I love, love, love the interior. It’s pure luxury.”
“The backseat feels like a candy store: one treat after another. Press a button and an iPad appears; press another, and a frosted-glass panel slides down to reveal three crystal Champagne flutes.” —Vicky Iskandar, Robb Report social media manager