LONDON: After more than a decade in production, Bentley's final example of the Mulsanne has been completed, signifying the end of an illustrious and extraordinary lifespan.
Over 7,300 examples - all handcrafted at Bentley’s home in Crewe, Cheshire - have embodied Bentley’s ability to produce the ultimate luxury sedan.
With typical end-of-production celebrations curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic, Bentley colleagues gathered for socially-distanced photographs with the final cars and marked the departure of Mulsanne by sharing their thoughts of the outgoing Bentley flagship on camera.
Bentley is today releasing both this Colleague film and a suite of imagery of the penultimate customer car – a Mulsanne Speed ‘6.75 Edition by Mulliner’ finished in Rose Gold over Tungsten, heading to a lucky customer in the US.
One extremely special, final Mulsanne remains behind the penultimate car – however, its future home remains a closely guarded secret.
Mulsanne’s lineage can be traced back through Bentley’s history, from the original 8.0-litre of 1930 - the last car designed and developed by W.O. Bentley himself, as the most luxurious, coach-built Bentley of its time.
In the last 11 years, over 700 people have invested nearly three million hours crafting Bentley’s ultra-luxury sedan.
Producing the Mulsanne bodies required approximately 42mil spot welds, and creating the leather interiors took more than a million hours alone.
Nearly 90,000 hours have been spent polishing cars, before a total of over four million individual quality checkpoints.
Since the launch of the Mulsanne, the car has continued to evolve throughout its lifespan.
It was first revealed to the world at Pebble Beach in 2009, developed from the ground-up at Bentley’s home in Crewe, featured a unique exterior and interior design, chassis and new variant of the twin-turbo 6.75-litre V8 engine.
Fast forward to 2020 and the final series production cars form the unique ‘6.75 Edition by Mulliner’ signifying the end of Mulsanne’s reign.
Taking its name from the legendary 6.75-litre engine, which this year also came to the end of production after more than 60 years - a ‘6.75 Edition’ is limited to only 30 examples.
Subtle tributes to the car’s engine are evident throughout the car that includes the interior ‘organ stop’ ventilation controls are replaced by designs capped by miniature versions of the engine oil cap.
The faces of the clock and minor gauges feature schematic cutaway drawings of the engine itself.
Dark tint treatments to the Flying B bonnet mascot, Mulliner Serenity radiator grille and exhaust finishers bring definition to the front of the car, while the 21-inch five-spoke Mulsanne Speed wheel will feature a unique bright-machined finish with gloss black pockets.
Under the hood, the engine intake manifold will be finished in black in lieu of the traditional silver, and the Engine Number Plaque – traditionally signed by the craftsman that built the engine – has been signed by Adrian Hallmark himself.
“The Mulsanne is the culmination of all that we at Bentley have learnt during our first 100 years in producing the finest luxury cars in the world. As the flagship of our model range for over a decade, the Mulsanne has firmly solidified its place in the history of Bentley as nothing less than a true icon.
"I am immensely proud of the hundreds of designers, engineers and craftspeople that brought the Mulsanne to life over the last ten years. "Now, as we begin Bentley’s journey to define the future of sustainable luxury mobility through our Beyond100 strategy, the role of Bentley flagship is passed to the new Flying Spur,” said Bentley chairman and CEO Adrian Hallmark.