Car & Country Issue #3 - page 8

| Issue #3 |
Photos by Nick England and Bentley
are navigating the desert roads along the outskirts
of the UAE in what is the complete opposite of “the
Ship of the Desert”.
Thankfully the ride is far removed from the syncopated
stride of the camel and “camel hair” is a new paint colour, not
the ripe smelling fur of the beast of burden.
The car is the Bentley’s Mulsanne Speed.
But what exactly is a“Speed”edition? Bentley first used the
name “Speed” when it introduced a more sporty, uprated
version of the famous 1928 Bentley 6.5-litre saloon. The
name reappeared in 2001 as Bentley’s Le Mans Speed 8
racing car but only in 2007 was it reintroduced to the road-
going cars like the Continental GT range to make it more
interesting to buyers of such luxury cars.
It is rather different than the usual performance upgrades
we have become used to because it entails the opposite of a
lightweight programme where all manner of weight bearing
luxury is removed from the car.
Instead it is crammed with more of the good stuff.Not that
the standard Mulsanne is ordinary but the good people at
Bentley have doubled up on what most would consider
“luxurious enough”.
Apart from the new Speed exterior colours, the cabin is a
collection of themost exquisite interiormaterials to reinterpret
what constitutes the cabin of a new flagship. Having a two-
toned theme to the interior is a great start.
To that add theMulliner DrivingSpecificationwhich includes
newdiamond quilted stitch lines on the hides,and that creates
the right contrast between the light and dark hues of the
smooth hides.There are embroidered Bentley emblems on all
the leather bound seats and even the headliner is in fine
In the Mulsanne,Bentleymaintains that if it looks like metal
it will be metal and the Speed finish includes a knurling of the
sports gear lever and the stalks of the ventilation control stops.
Look closer and you will notice the coined finish to the
Mulsanne Sport’s door handles as well as the drilled alloy foot
pedals. If you touch these gleaming items you will notice just
howcool it feels compared to the chromed plastic bits that are
found in lesser cars.
By Andre Lam in Dubai
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