Bentley Mulsanne (1980–1992)
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|Body and chassis|
|Class||Full-size luxury car|
|Body style||4-door sedan|
Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit
Rolls-Royce Silver Spur
|Engine||6.75 L Bentley V8|
6.75 L turbo Bentley V8 (years 1982-85)
|Wheelbase||3061 mm (121 in)|
3161 mm (124 in)
Bentley Turbo R
The Bentley Mulsanne is a performance luxury car which was produced by Bentley Motors Limited from 1980 until 1992, though derivative models like the Continental T and Azure continued in production into the 2000s. The name "Mulsanne" is derived from Bentley's motorsport history, which included five victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans between 1924 and 1930 — the 'Mulsanne Straight' being the stretch of the Le Mans racecourse where cars reach their highest speeds.
The Mulsanne shared the traditional 6.75 L (6750 cc/411 in³) Rolls-Royce V8 with aluminium alloy cylinder heads. Two SU carburettors were replaced by Bosch fuel injection on all cars from 1986. All Mulsannes use a 3-speed automatic transmission.
Launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 1982 and produced until 1985 was the Mulsanne Turbo. There was a 50% increase in power thanks to the Garrett AiResearch turbocharger. There was the usual highly polished walnut veneered fascia, blemish-free leather and carpets and headlining of pure wool for the interior. 498 short wheelbase and 18 long wheelbase Mulsanne Turbos were built.
The Mulsanne Turbo was replaced by the Turbo R, which used a fuel injected version of the same engine. A British racing green Turbo has been used in the two James Bond novels Role of Honour and Nobody Lives for Ever by John Gardner.
The Mulsanne S was introduced in 1987. Although this model lacked its turbocharger, many of its other details were similar to the Turbo R, including that car's alloy wheels and interior, and the suspension was firmed up for a more sporting ride. The rectangular headlamps from the 1980s gave way to quad round units for 1989, and the model was produced until 1992.
The BMW Goldfisch V16 engine was tested in the Bentley Mulsanne as a potential "upgrade" from the turbocharged V8 engine. Unlike the BMW 7 Series, the engine fit in the bay with room for radiator and ancillaries but it was never sold to the public.
|Model||Years||Total Production||Short wheelbase||Long wheelbase||Limousine|
|Ownership||Bentley Motors Limited
Bentley Motors (1931) Limited
Bentley Motors (1931) Limited
|3 L||4½ L
|Cars with Bentley own-factory coachwork|
|Bentleys on Volkswagen Group platforms|
|Mulsanne||Mulsanne S||Brooklands||Arnage||Arnage RL/R|
|Mulsanne Turbo||Turbo R||Turbo RT||Arnage Red Label||Arnage T|
|Continental S||Continental T|
|Color code||Silver Shadow-based||Mulsanne-based||Arnage-based|
|Saloon||Continental Flying Spur||Flying Spur||Flying Spur|
|Green Label/Red Label||Arnage R/T||Mulsanne SWB|
|Arnage RL||Mulsanne EWB|
|Coupé||Continental R||Continental GT||Continental GT||Continental GT|
|Continental T||Brooklands Coupé|
|Convertible||Continental GTC||Continental GTC||Continental GTC|