The Bentley Mulsanne was produced from 1980 through 1982. The name 'Mulsanne' was chosen to honor Bentley's history and victories at the 24 Hours of LeMans. The 'Mulsanne Straight' is the straight stretch on the LeMans course that allows racecars to achieve their highest speed of the course.
The Mulsanne was based on the Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit and Silver Spur.
The Bentley Mulsanne was powered by a 6.75 Liter V8 engine which is shared with its Rolls-Royce counterparts. All Mulsannes were fitted with a three-speed automatic gearbox.
In 1982, Bentley introduced the Mulsanne Turbo at the Geneva Auto Show. Production continued through 1985. The Garrett AirResearch turbocharger allowed for a massive 50-percent increase in horsepower. There were just 498 examples of the short wheelbase version produced and a mere 18 examples of the long wheelbase version.
the Turbo R replaced the Mulsanne Turbo.
In 1987 the Mulsanne S version was introduced. It did not have a turbocharger but it did share many similarities to the Turbo R, including alloy wheels.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2008
The Bentley Mulsanne was considered to be a Rolls-Royce in almost everything but name. Introduced at the same time as the updated 1980 Silver Spirit, the Mulsane was named after the corner at Le Mans, at the end of the longest straight on any racetrack in the world. The name was derived from Bentley's illustrious history which had included five victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. A performance luxury vehicle produced by Bentley Motors Limited, the Mulsanne was introduced in 1980 and lasted until 1992. The Continental T and Azure, derivative models continued to be produced through the 2000's. The Mulsanne would be the basis for all Bentley models through the 1998 introduction of the Arnage.
The Mulsanne embodied the ultimate spirit of Bentley with its luxurious design, ample performance and ultimate comfort. Sharing the traditional 6.75 L Rolls-Royce V8 the engine featured aluminum alloy cylinder heads. All cars from 1986 replaced the two SU carburetors with Bosch fuel injection and all Mulsannes used a 3-speed automatic transmission.
The Mulsanne Turbo was a huge hit at the 1982 Geneva Motor Show and featured a V8 turbocharged to 300 bhp. The 2200kg vehicle could achieve 0-60 mph in just 7 seconds, and its top speed was 135 mph. The fastest Bentley in history, the Mulsanne Turbo even beat out the Daimler Double Six, the Ferrari 365 GT4 and the Aston Martin Lagonda. The Mulsanne Turbo was produced until 1985 and received a 50% increase in power ue to the Garrett AirResearch turbocharger. The Turbo also featured a lush interior that included blemish-free leather and carpets, highly polished walnut veneered fascia and headlining of pure wool for the interior.
Ten years following the introduction of the Mulsanne Turbo, Bentley would outsell Rolls-Royce two-to-one. The Muslanne Turbo was replaced by the Turbo R which utilized a fuel injection version of the same engine.
Wanting to rev up the line in 1987, the Mulsanne S was introduced. Though it didn't feature a turbocharger, the Mulsanne S carried a lot of the same details similar to the Turbo R, including the interior, alloy wheels and a suspension that was more firmly tuned for a sporting ride. The ‘80s rectangular headlights were replaced with quad round units. The Mulsanne S lasted until 1992.
A total of 533 Mulsanne's (49 of these being the Mulsanne long wheelbase, 2 being the Bentley Mulsanne L Limousine) were produced, 516 Mulsanne Turbos and 970 Mulsanne S's.By Jessica Donaldson