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The 2013 Bentley Mulsanne is a four-door hyper-luxury sedan with immense power, classic styling seen through a modern lens, painstakingly built with Bentley's own inimitable taste and attention to detail.
With a long, sweeping profile and extended, long-wheelbase cabin, the Mulsanne won't be mistaken for one of the new breed of four-door coupes any time soon, but at the same time, its upright grille, long body, and uniquely Bentley curves ensure it won't be mistaken for anything else, either.
Under the hood of the Mulsanne lies a twin-turbocharged 6.75-liter V-8 engine rated at 505 horsepower and 752 pound-feet of torque. The Mulsanne, however, isn't all about power. In fact, that's hardly the point at all--the real story is in the style, the accommodations, and the comfort.
And that story is rich, indeed. One-hundred-seventy hours of hand-crafted construction go into each Mulsanne's interior. That includes a hand-stitched steering wheel, a "waistrail" of wood that encircles the cabin (including one unbroken piece that spans the dashboard), 24 colors of leather upholstery, and pure wool Wilton-weave mats over unique carpeting. The word "sumptuous" doesn't begin to cover it.
From audio and entertainment (courtesy of a 14-speaker base system or a Naim unit rated at 2,200 watts and featuring 20 speakers) to a high-resolution 8-inch touch screen that retreats behind a sleek veneered door when not in use, the Mulsanne incorporates high technology without intruding on the classic luxury experience; rather, it enhances it.
As you might imagine, nearly anything you could want is available as a (custom, special-order) option on the Mulsanne, not that it isn't nicely equipped in its most basic form. For those with a taste for the unique or extraordinary, however, the sky is the limit.
In early 2012, Bentley unveiled the Mulliner Driving Specification, which adds unique interior elements (like diamond-quilted, perforated leather; knurled controls; and baseball-stitched leather on the gear lever) as well as an additional touch of sporting flair, with two-piece 21-inch alloy wheels, a Sport setting for the Drive Dynamics Control system, and more.
All Mulsannes have the option of a sunroof and a two-bottle champagne cooler in between the rear seats, naturally.
Neither the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) nor the IIHS (Insurance Insitute for Highway Safety) have crash-tested the $325,000 Mulsanne, but then, with 5,700 pounds of steel, wood, and leather ensconcing you, you're sure to feel safe. Of course the Mulsanne also includes all of the modern safety features like front, side, head, and thorax airbags; traction and stability control; and pyrotechnic, pre-tensioning three-point seat belts.
For more on this ultra-luxury sedan, read MotorAuthority's first drive of the Bentley Mulsanne.