Bentley Vancouver Debuts Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase At Classy Gathering

This news story is for the Canadian dealer market only

Going to new lengths to experience Bentley luxury

The introduction of a new Bentley is a rare occasion indeed, and certainly cause for celebration.

The scene was set at Vancouver's beautiful Waterfall Building next to the entrance of Granville Island on West 2nd Avenue, not far from Bentley Vancouver's showroom, the evening sunlit patio abuzz with invited guests filtering in and out of the concrete pyramid-shaped entrance of an adjacent glass-walled gallery, the room alive with light jazz, displayed jewellery, sculpture and modern art, servers silently whisking appetizers and champagne through the gathering.

Of course all of this was just the support act for the star of the show, the new Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase, Bentley's very limited handcrafted flagship luxury sedan. A mere handful will be available in Canada, with the majority sold in the U.S., U.K., Europe, Middle East, and of course the Asian markets, predominantly China.

The Mulsanne is Bentley's largest and most prestigious four-door, not to mention one of the most coveted luxury sedans period. As you might expect the regular version already offers rear passengers extremely generous accommodations, but the Extended Wheelbase is an altogether more luxuriant experience with an additional 250 mm (9.8 inches) of legroom.

Rather than dubbing it Extended Wheelbase, Bentley might have alternatively borrowed the horological phrase "master of complications" because the process its engineers went through to grow the special model was anything but easy. On lead was Jon Simons, Manager, Product Marketing, Bentley Motors, The Americas, who pointed out the differences between the regular wheelbase model and this longer version, while the brand's sales manager, Jonathan Wang, made himself available to answer questions, as did Jeff Kuhlman, head of public relations, plus staff from Bentley Vancouver and the division's Dilawri Group marketing team.

Rather than just lengthen the middle section and be done with it, Bentley went and redesigned the EWB's rear sheetmetal with a downward-pointing character line that visually extends the rear quarters for more limousine-like proportions while adding some classic '50s-era elegance. It's hard not to like what they've done, and most importantly the classy kink is easy for those in the know to spot, setting this very unique model apart from more readily available Mulsannes.

What's more, the bigger, bolder updated Mulsanne grille gets some unique detailing, along with extra chrome to the revised lower fascia, while other improvements made across the line include full LED headlights, broader looking front fenders featuring B-shaped engine vents that now seamlessly form into the thick chromed rocker mouldings, and a reworked set of taillights with unique B-shaped LEDs.

Power comes from Bentley's well-proven 6.75-liter twin-turbo V8, which produces 505 hp and 752 lb-ft of torque in EWB guise, performance aplenty for hurrying the big sedan away from politico or paparazzi to 100km/h in just 5.5 seconds, its top speed an autobahn-only 296 km/h (184 mph).

While retaining all of the shorter model's sport sedan credentials, unlike most Bentleys those in charge of the Extended Wheelbase will be seated in back. After easier access via longer rear doors, passengers will enjoy rear seats modeled after first-class aircraft, although you'll need to source a private airline to find anything close the level of craftsmanship offered in the Mulsanne EWB. They recline to the nth degree, Bentley also making powered ottomans available that hide away under the lower cushions when not in use. Deploy them and the adjustability possibilities are near endless, Bentley claiming they're the "most supportive footrests in the industry," while exquisitely detailed airliner-style folding tables can be added to the rear centre console. To leave the description of these chromed metal and leather-fashioned furnishings so incomplete doesn't do them adequate justice, however, their creation more like works of mechanical contortionist art thanks to no less than 600 individual components apiece.

The list of options are as long as your imagination can provide ideas, the example on hand incorporating classic picnic tables on backsides of each front seat, a gorgeous panoramic glass sunroof with a powered Alcantara shade, a glass-lidded bar fridge complete with crystal flutes housed between the rear seats, what Bentley states is "the world's finest in-car audio system" featuring 2,200 watts, 20 speakers and components from the renowned ultra-high-end British boutique brand Naim, plus much more. Also, take note that Bentley designed the EWB for the businessperson on the move, so therefore it can be equipped with all the latest office productivity equipment for maximizing downtime whilst your driver takes care of traffic.

Comfort is king, the sumptuously leather-clad seats adjustable beyond reason and aforementioned tables capable of being twisted to a 30-degree angle for enjoying entertainment via a personal device. All charge ports plus 4G LTE/Wi-Fi phone and internet connectivity come standard, as do seat heating/cooling, climate and entertainment controls, twin 10.4-inch high-resolution smart tablet-style displays hidden within the front seatbacks, power-retractable curtains, and considerably more.

EWB clientele can choose from 24 leather colours alone, plus 13 different hardwood veneers, but that's just the stock menu. Bentley's Mulliner division will build-to-order too, so if you'd like to do it up in Canucks and/or Seahawks-themed blue and green they'd be only too happy, or for that matter Whitecaps white/blue or Lions orange, and why not have the seats embroidered with the initials of your favourite player as well? No doubt they'd also swap out the champagne flutes for beer steins, or better yet a set of Waterford glasses for your favourite single malt. Mulliner will even extend the EWB's wheelbase farther to accommodate another set of rear seats, the second-row facing rearward.

Of course, even a "base" Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase is more car than most will have ever experienced, or a regular Mulsanne for that matter. Make sure to visit the Bentley Vancouver showroom at 1770 Burrard Street (and 2nd Ave) to experience all the storied marque has to offer.

Story credits: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press
Copyright: Canadian Auto Press Inc.

// // //