The ultimate in automotive luxury

The new Mulsanne Speed is a Bentley to drive, rather than to be driven in.

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The new Mulsanne Speed is a Bentley to drive, rather than to be driven in, says Vicky Parrott in Autocar. At least, that's what Bentley maintains. Of course, this is a three-tonne limo, so it's not as if it's going to be exactly incisive to drive as a sports car. But "such a posh wedge of automotive real estate" should nevertheless be special to drive in some way, and this Bentley is.

It will whisk you to 62mph in less than five seconds and delivers 530bhp. It "presses the road into submission in as pleasing a fashion as it ever has", and is "preceded at all times by the Bentley forcefield: that intangible aura of superiority that seems to be stitched into its cars with as much care and thoroughness as the carefully selected bullhide".

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You don't so much hustle this Bentley along a road as "make progress", says Ollie Marriage in Top Gear, but you do this at what might be described as a "fair lick". The performance may be broadly similar to that of a Ford Focus RS, but think of all the work the driver of that will have to do to match the Bentley all the "rowing of the gears, smashing the pedals". In the Bentley, you just "let your great steamship lunge at the horizon, engine rumbling and churning, but otherwise entirely unstressed".

The Mulsanne "remains the ultimate statement of opulence, luxury and wealth", says Richard Ingram in AutoExpress, and the range of mid-life tweaks on display here do nothing to dent its appeal. Inside, the interior takes a step beyond even what you'd expect from Bentley, with the "utmost attention to detail" and a "seemingly endless" list of options, from a near £15,000 entertainment option that includes "iPad picnic tables" and a Naim stereo, and a refrigerated bottle cooler with bespoke tumblers for more than £8k. Despite Bentley's claims, this, like all Mulsannes, is "best enjoyed from the back".

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Price: £252,000Engine: 6,752cc, V8, twin-turbocharged petrolTop speed: 190mph0-62mph: 4.9 secondsEconomy: 18.8mpg

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