Bentley Mulsanne Turbo
At the GIMS 1982, Bentley presented the Mulsanne Turbo.
Since the mid-50s, Bentley and its parent company Rolls-Royce mainly practiced «badge engineering», marketing identical models under different brands. Bentleys were Rolls-Royces models with a Bentley grille and logos. Although its name evoked Bentley’s glorious past at Le Mans in the 20s, the Mulsanne, launched in 1980, remained a Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit behind its grille. The Bentley Mulsanne Turbo will help to further differentiate the brands.
Following in the footsteps of the legendary Le Mans supercharged Bentley 4 1/2 Litre «Blower», engineers developed a turbocharged version of the venerable 6,75-litre V8. Thanks to the single Garrett turbo, power and torque increased massively, by almost 50% (300 PS and 610 Nm). The Mulsanne Turbo covered 0 to 100 km/h in 7 seconds, which is as fast as sports cars of the time such as the Ferrari 308, the Porsche 911 SC Targa and 928 S or the Lotus Esprit III. Pretty impressive for a 2,2-ton luxury vessel!
From 1982 until 1998, several variations of the Mulsanne Turbo were produced. The «R» (for Roadhandling, with improved and sportier chassis), the «S» with a Formula 1-derived digital ignition system delivering up to 414 PS, and, for MY 1998 only, the «RT», the last, most luxurious and most expensive Mulsanne Turbo with 404 PS.
The Mulsanne Turbo transformed Bentley’s fortune and gave the brand a new identity. It redefined what is still today the main characteristic of a Bentley: that feeling of permanently available power reserve and effortless torque.
Today’s W12, V8 and V6 Bentley engines all benefit from turbocharging to deliver high levels of performance and efficiency.