Bentley makes two sedans. One is the Continental Flying Spur, an all-wheel drive, long-wheelbase version of the GT coupe, with an advanced turbocharged W12 engine and a slippery, sporty shape. It is for the brands younger clients (read: internet millionaires, NBA stars). The other is the Mulsanne, a 3-ton limousine in the classic Bentley tradition: rear-drive, shaped like a windswept bank safe and powered by a six and three-quarter-liter V8. It's immense, it's imposing, and it's not at all sporty. This is the ride for anyone whose riche hasn’t been nouveau since the Civil War.
Because the speed of modern global commerce has even the patricians rushing around, Bentley has released a suped-up version of their grandest carriage: The Mulsanne Speed. (“Speed” does seem crass, but is undeniably a better option that "Mulsanne Terribly Prompt.") For the robber baron on the move, the Mulsanne Speed boasts 537 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque - some Peterbilts have less - and efficiency has improved 15 percent for a robust 500-mile range. (The chauffeur will appreciate fewer fill-ups.)
With the Speed, Bentley has made its leather-lined (24 available hides) freight-train just a bit more powerful. If your ancestors made their fortune in fossil fuels, think of this glorious guzzler as a sumptuous way to support the family business. Plus, the luxurious back seat includes monogrammed Bentley champagne flutes perfect for toasting the slow dismantling of anti-trust laws.
Photos by Bentley