Swank Bentley Mulsanne Getting Even Swankier for 2014 [2013 Geneva Auto Show]
Bentley is giving its ultra-luxe Mulsanne a host of new features to appeal to emerging markets like China where being chauffeured is far more commonplace than in the U.S. or Europe.
First on the list of upgrades is a new Comfort Specification package aimed at keeping rear-seat passengers in a constant state of hedonistic bliss. The headrests, once merely proletariat tools of momentary relaxation, now feature manually adjustable wings for lateral support, and extend lower than standard headrests to, as Bentley puts it, “ensure maximum comfort for an even greater range of passenger statures.” To avoid developing embarrassing creases in their delicate hide covers, the headrests are designed to fold neatly. New footrests trimmed in carpet to match each vehicle’s interior are included, and hide under the front seats when not in use. Loose pillows stuffed with duck down and trimmed to match the seats bear winged-B emblems and keep the mood casual, but can be ordered with bespoke stitching for a custom look. Armrest storage compartments lined in leather provide convenient storage for smartphones or annoying bundles of loose cash.
To keep things on the down low, new power-operated rear privacy curtains can be specified. Available in either black or white, the curtains are fully integrated into the rear door and rear window frames, providing full-coverage privacy. Opt for the new Entertainment Specification to get leather-wrapped picnic tables for composing traditional written messages; these tables also flip open at the press of a button to reveal dedicated spaces for iPads and keyboards should you prefer to communicate via the Mulsanne’s onboard Wi-Fi. A pair of eight-inch LCD headrest screens are linked to a 20-GB hard drive and DVD player; they feed an included, upgraded Naim audio setup, but you can alternately use Bluetooth headphones to keep the chauffeur from hearing the latest Bieber demo.
Three new “core” exterior finishes come online for 2014: Dark Cashmere, Portofino, and Damson. Dark Cashmere is gray, Portofino a new take on pale blue, and Damson a “rich, opulent color with a velvet quality, deep tones, and the subtle sparkle of rare purple diamonds.” So, yeah, it’s purple.
The interior took a spin on the Crewe color wheel too, with three new colors joining the lineup. Damson is a rich, dark red designed to complement the new Damson paint, while Saffron is a warm, rich color inspired by saffron bread. Brunel is a warm gray intended to pair with blue or gray exteriors. And, of course, Bentley will happily take extra cash to create a car in whatever colors you want, both inside and out.
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If you’re still on the fence, perhaps the new bespoke, handmade Schedoni luggage will seal the deal. Pony up an unspecified but surely ungodly sum, and you’ll get six cases—two large, two small, and two foldable garment bags—in shapes inspired by the Mulsanne’s inner door panels. Hand-tailored to the customer’s specification, they feature a monogrammed Bentley lining inside and embossed Bentley logos outside, and are constructed from the same cowhide used to craft Bentley interiors. If you don’t order them to match your car’s cabin, well, you’re just being gauche.
The 2014 Mulsanne will debut at the 2013 Geneva auto show in March, and Bentley will begin taking orders in April.