Today, Bentley Motors unveiled the Mulsanne, the company’s all-new flagship grand tourer, at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance in Monterey, California.
The Mulsanne is inspired by the company founder W.O. Bentley’s crowning achievement in 1930, the 8-litre. And it was W.O.’s own sensitively conserved company car that shared the podium with the new Mulsanne in Pebble Beach. This early motoring masterpiece represented the last big Bentley that was designed, engineered and built from the ground up by Bentley engineers - until now.
Nearly 80 years later, while paying respect to this illustrious past, the new Mulsanne is a thoroughly modern statement of luxury driving and grand touring. Conceived, styled and engineered entirely at Bentley’s headquarters in Crewe, England, the Mulsanne, with its completely new and unique platform, goes into production next year in a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility within the Crewe factory.
Introducing the Bentley Mulsanne at Pebble Beach, where Bentley was the featured marque, Dr. Franz-Josef Paefgen, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley Motors, said:
"The challenge we set our engineers was to create a new grand Bentley that would stand as the pinnacle of British luxury motoring, offering the world’s most exclusive driving experience. They have responded to this challenge with real passion and the result is a luxury grand tourer that sets new standards in terms of comfort, effortless performance and hand-crafted refinement – the very qualities for which Bentley is renowned."
The Bentley design team, lead by Dirk van Braeckel, have created a flagship that offers the classic sporting, styling cues long-associated with Bentley - expressed in a thoroughly contemporary way.
"From the very first hand sketches in the styling studio, we were inspired by the traditions of the grand touring Bentleys and have sought to evolve this story for a new generation of Bentley enthusiasts."
The return of the Mulsanne name to a car carrying Bentley’s iconic ‘Winged B’ emblem underlines the company’s racing pedigree and nowhere reflects that heritage better than the famed Le Mans circuit, the scene of no fewer than six Bentley triumphs. Few places offer a stronger or more emotive connection with the Bentley marque than the famed Mulsanne corner.
The Bentley 8-litre displayed alongside the Mulsanne in California was first shown at the 1930 London Motor Show. It was the second-built and was W.O. Bentley’s company car for two years. Capable of reaching more than 100 mph, the 8-litre demonstrated W.O. Bentley’s ambition and ability to build a grand luxury car capable of surpassing every other leading manufacturer of the day. A total of 100 cars were built in 1930 and 1931.
"The 8-litre’s breathtaking performance and quality was perhaps the finest example of a ‘pure’ grand Bentley. Every mechanical detail carried W.O. Bentley’s unique stamp and it was the clearest demonstration of a car built without compromise," commented Dr. Ulrich Eichhorn, Member of the Board Engineering.
"The Mulsanne has been designed with exactly the same guiding principles, so it is entirely fitting that these Bentleys from different eras share the same stage."
The Bentley Mulsanne will go on sale from mid 2010. It will also be displayed at the forthcoming IAA Frankfurt Motor Show (15-27th September, 2009) where Bentley Motors will provide additional product information.
BENTLEY TO CELEBRATE 90TH ANNIVERSARY WITH DEBUT OF ALL-NEW MODEL AT PEBBLE BEACH CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE
“Cars undoubtedly have a personality to the real enthusiast, to whom they are not mere collections of steel and aluminium, but animal-like, show their spirit just so soon as the clutch bites home and feeling comes through to the driver….”
(Sammy Davis, first Bentley road test report, January 1920)
Crewe: Wednesday 8 July. Bentley Motors today celebrates its 90th anniversary and confirms that its all-new Bentley will be revealed - and named - in August at the Pebble Beach Concours D’ Elegance in Monterey, California where the company is a featured marque.
Founded by W.O. Bentley in 1919, the company’s first production car, the 3-litre was delivered in September 1921. Over the next ten years, Bentley went on to produce an array of iconic motor cars. At the same time, the exploits of the immortal Bentley Boys – a select group of businessmen, sportsmen and bons vivants – forged the company’s proud sporting pedigree both on and off the racetracks of Europe. The Bentley Boys made the legendary Le Mans endurance race their own, winning five times between 1924 and 1930.
The all-new grand Bentley captures the 1920s ‘grand touring’ spirit of the Bentley Boys, delivering the effortless driving, exclusivity and adventure desired by the real motoring enthusiast. A unique fusion of elegant design, hand craftsmanship and technological innovation, the new model embodies the potent yet luxuriously refined driving experience that is ‘pure Bentley’. These have been the hallmarks of a Bentley since that first test drive in 1920.
It is fitting that the 90th anniversary of the Company will be marked by an all-new car. Such events are rare milestones in the Company’s history. Designed, engineered and built in Crewe, which has been home to Bentley Motors for over 60 years, it has been a ‘once in a career experience’ for many involved. The car and its name, which will be revealed at Pebble Beach on 16 August, signal a new era in British luxury motoring.
Tags : bentley, mulsanne, pebble beach
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