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Auto blogTue, 18 Nov 2014 11:57:00 EST
Why does the Bentley Mulsanne Speed exist? Sam Graham, product line director for the Mulsanne, tells us Bentley's Western customers demanded it, many driven by memories of the Arnage T - the hotted-up version of the Arnage R. The Arnage T, you may remember, arrived in 2002 and threw down 459 horsepower and 645 pound-feet of torque on its way to being billed the most powerful production Bentley ever. Today's Mulsanne Speed picks up the torch and takes it all the way to the Olympic stadium.
It starts with an upgrade to 530 hp at 4,200 rpm and 811 lb-ft of torque at a limbo-esque 1,750 rpm. That's an additional 25 hp and 86 lb-ft compared to the standard sedan, enabling a top speed of 190 miles per hour. That torque figure makes it second only to the Bugatti Veyron among production cars, and that terminal velocity makes it the fastest ultra-luxury sedan on God's Own Green.
The "will they, won't they" saga over Bentley's SUV plans appears to finally be over. They will. That's according to the German business newspaper Handelsblatt, which is reporting that the controversial SUV will be built after receiving the go-ahead from Volkswagen's board.
Known internally as "Falcon," the still-unnamed Bentley SUV will be based on the EXP 9 Concept that received wildly mixed reviews at its 2012 Geneva Motor Show unveiling. Since the EXP 9's unveiling, there have been a steady stream of leaks and rumors suggesting that the bold-faced vehicle will get a redesign prior to going into production, but it remains unclear how different the final vehicle will look.
According to Automotive News, Bentley is itself stopping short of confirming the green-light report, though it does admit that the SUV's production outlook appears "very positive." Production will likely take place in Slovakia at a plant owned by parent Volkswagen.
When it comes to street-legal cars there's "power," there's "Power" and then there's "PAHRRRRRR!" This Bentley Continental GT dragster built by Webster Engineering in Bedford, England owns that third category, with its 3,082-horsepower heartbeat erupting from a twin-turbo, 10.2-liter Chevrolet V8 crate motor built by Steve Morris Engines. An entrant in the Street Eliminator Class of last weekend's European Drag Racing Championship, it is fully road legal.
As you might expect, it's not exactly a factory-fresh Continental GT, more like an authentic Bentley bodyshell placed over a tube-frame chassis and a carbon-fiber-heavy interior that took eight months and 250,000 pounds ($420,763 US) to finish. It will be driven by its owner, Yorkshire watch repairer Steve Neimantas. Builder Jon Webster told Autoblog that they're hoping for times in the "mid to low sevens on street tires and 6's on slicks."
You can watch a couple videos of the engine running and the car on the go below.