This Bentley Mulsanne Send-Off Film Is a Salute to the Grandest Bentley

Cars go out of production all the time. Typically, the discontinuation of a given model merits little more than a news blurb and a collective “eh.” But the Bentley Mulsanne is different. Introduced in 2009, the Mulsanne has served as Bentley’s flagship for over a decade with distinction. With its run nearing its end, we’re going to miss it more than most models. There are a few reasons for this.

For one, the Mulsanne rides on its own rear-wheel-drive chassis not used by anything else on the planet. Though Bentley’s parent company, Volkswagen Group, is extremely effective at sharing platforms, systems and components across its brands, there’s something cool and decidedly old-school about marque- and model-specific underpinnings. (Though this extravagance seems a little less extravagant when you consider that the Mulsanne range was initially planned to include a coupe and convertible, neither of which materialized.)

Then there’s the engine, a 6.75-liter V8 prime mover that can trace its roots back to 1959. Hardly a living fossil, it’s evolved into something far beyond what its original creators at Rolls-Royce-Bentley could have ever imagined; in today’s turbocharged incarnation, it produces as much as 530 hp and 811 lb-ft of torque.

The end result of all of this is an exclusive, hand-built chauffeur-ready boat—nay, yacht—of a car that also happens to be fun to drive (though obviously not because you can’t afford the chauffeur, it’s understood). Given its unique underpinnings and powerplant, it’s arguably more completely a product of Crewe—where it is built on its own assembly line—than anything else Bentley makes.

Or will make again anytime soon. Though there will be no direct replacement for the Mulsanne, at least not at this point, the word is that Bentley is going to position a big SUV as its new flagship. Given the success of the Bentayga, this is hardly surprising, but it only makes us sadder to see the Mulsanne go. The Flying Spur will serve as the flagship in the interim.

The final run of Mulsannes will be a set of 30 6.75 Edition by Mulliner cars. Because Bentley, like just about everyone else, is shut down until the coronavirus pandemic subsides, these last-of-the-line cars haven’t been built just yet, so we suppose it’s not technically discontinued. Still, this is as good a time as any to look back at the Mulsanne’s decade-plus history, and the short video up top does just that.

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