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beluga

2016 Bentley Mulsanne Speed Beluga Edition

530-hp sedan gains a meaner look, warms bench before LWB Mulsanne debuts

Bentley is doubling down on the logic behind attaching the name of a whale species to a large, heavy luxury sedan: Meet the Mulsanne Speed Beluga edition. The Anglo-Germanic marque has previously used the Beluga specification — presumably, it’s a nod to the caviar-producing sturgeon, not the cetacean of Raffi fame — on the negligibly smaller and lighter Flying Spur sedan, but even this early on, it’s clear that the Mulsanne will have an easier time living up to the name.

The Beluga-spec Flying Spur was purely an appearance package, offering a gloss-black radiator mesh, an exclusive 20-inch wheel design and a body-colored lower grille bar in addition to a roster of even more premium materials inside (such a thing is apparently possible).

The Mulsanne follows with a similar list of features including a black exterior color, 21-inch five-spoke alloy wheels and a dark “Flying B” hood ornament.

On the inside, the Mulsanne will sport unique “Beluga Edition” sill plates (lest you forget the name of the special edition Bentley you bought), a choice of piano black, dark stained or burr walnut veneers and premium leather upholstery. We’ve always wondered if Bentley would let us mix the veneers, selecting all three on various parts of the dash, but we’d assumed that the company has people on staff specifically to dissuade buyers from doing that. “You wouldn’t want that, Sir,” an elderly gentleman will tell you over the phone in a British butler’s accent, and that will be that.

2016 Bentley Mulsanne Speed Beluga Edition sill platesSill plates that say Beluga Edition are certainly better than sill plates that don’t say anything. Photo by Bentley

Will the Beluga edition of the Mulsanne Speed offer any performance enhancements?

None whatsoever, but despite the age of the 6.75-liter V8 engine, it’ll continue to provide a more-than-adequate 530 hp and 811 lb-ft of torque. That means it’ll be able to reach 60 mph on the streets of (pick one) Dubai, Shanghai or Moscow in just 4.8 seconds, and will top out at 190 mph on a stretch of highway outside of town.

Is this the ultimate Mulsanne? Only for a few minutes, as Bentley is said to be readying the long-wheelbase version of this sedan at this very moment; if you ask nicely, they might let you make a deposit without confirming or denying that it is imminent.

 

 

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