This is something pretty out of the ordinary for me to do, but I was given an incredible opportunity from Miller Motorcars (Bentley Greenwich) in Connecticut recently to take a 2012 Bentley Mulsanne wherever I pleased for a day. That being said I took full advantage of this opportunity and am writing a review about the Mulsanne along with a set of pictures which I shot while I had the car all to myself. I have a LOT of experience with many different types of luxury and exotic cars and I hope this will be the first of many proper reviews to come!
When I took delivery of the Bentley I had no idea what to expect and was a bit skeptical about the car in general. The car is absolutely stunning in person, it has an incredible road presence, and is immediately recognized as a Bentley. I have previously driven the Azure and Arnage T but for very short periods of time to really give my thoughts on them, however having spent quite a few hours behind the wheel of multiple Bentley Continental GT models (GT, GT Speed, GTC, Flying Spur) I can without a doubt say I am a huge fan of that model and plan on owning one someday. Driving the Mulsanne out of the dealership parking lot I could immediately feel the bulkiness of the car which was a bit unnerving. There is no denying the fact that this is a massive car! Maneuvering the car around town especially parking lots takes patience and 100% of your attention. Thankfully the amazing ride quality helped ease my mind dealing with the above predicaments.
Before driving the Bentley off the lot I spent a minute fiddling with some of the different functions in the interior like the climate control, mirror adjustments, seat position, and giving a quick look over of all the other controls. Once on the road I went to adjust some of the options in the car and upon looking down at the center console and seeing the vast array of buttons in front of me I was extremely overwhelmed. There was absolutely way too much going on for me to quickly look down and adjust a simple feature as simple as lowering the fan speed for the climate control and changing the radio station. Thankfully one of my friends was in the car with me to change the settings for me otherwise I would have had to pull over to do a quick adjustment and this bothered me quite a bit. One feature in the interior which was by far the most convenient and easy to use, only because of previous experience, was the integration of the controls for the multidisplay screen in the dashboard which was clearly from Audi. This being my first time in a Mulsanne I knew it was going to take a bit of getting used to though just like any other new car I’m unfamiliar with. Once getting the radio setup I was starting to really enjoy the experience the Mulsanne offered. The amazing sound quality (albeit I think the Rolls Royce Phantom has a slightly better system, stock vs. stock), smooth as butter ride quality, I started to realize how great the Mulsanne would be to take on a longer road trip with plenty of room for 4 people including their luggage. Apart from the uncertainty at first, I was driving in absolute comfort in plush leather seats with nearly no exterior noise coming in which helped me keep my mind on the positive, I’m driving a Bentley!
After getting comfortable behind the wheel of the Mulsanne I wanted to see how the car felt once you put the gas pedal down. I left the car in comfort mode for both steering and suspension at first which I realized I quickly needed to change once I realized the Bentley is true at heart. It is very, very fast. That being said I switched the cars “drive dynamic control” into sport mode for both the steering and suspension which really helped make the car drive sportier like the Bentley responsiveness I am used to. The 8 speed automatic transmission suited the 6.75 liter twin turbocharged V8 engine extremely well! With a redline of 4,500 RPM the car would blast into the next gear instantly and never suffer from turbo lag under full throttle acceleration. With 8 gears you can only imagine how much trouble you can get into as the car never seems to want to start losing its straight line acceleration and a speedometer that reads up to 200 MPH. Bentley did a fantastic job and I now really understand why it’s named after one of the world’s most famous straightaways in racing history, Mulsanne straight, located in France and is actually a public road transformed into a race track for the 24 Hours of LeMans once a year. This stretch of the track is commonly known for allowing race cars to reach speeds of over 200 MPH. Along with the mind-boggling speed the car will go considering the size, the Mulsanne handled the long sweeping turns and even the tight technical turns without worry and was well composed in the process!
Well done Bentley, yet again!