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Bentley Mulsanne: Old-world coachwork meets modern tech (pictures)

The Bentley Mulsanne takes advantage of fine English coachwork and German electronics to offer owners a sumptuous driving experience with excellent cabin tech.

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Wayne_Cunningham.jpg

Wayne Cunningham

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1 of 19 Josh Miller/CNET
The flying B hood ornament, or "Mascot" in Bentley terminology, is a $3,000 option. Each one is individually crafted, with differing numbers of feathers on the wings to ensure uniqueness.
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Bentley's flagship Mulsanne shows a base price of $290,000, but given the craftsmanship you can amortize that price over the rest of your life, because it will probably outlast you.
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A massive stainless-steel grille announces the Mulsanne's arrival.
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In modern Bentley fashion, the large headlights are neatly embedded in the bodywork.
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This 6.75-liter V-8 comes with two turbochargers, giving it 505 horsepower and 752 pound-feet of torque.
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The Mulsanne has a massive presence, but does not feel all that big from behind the wheel.
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These 21-inch wheels come standard.
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The Mulsanne rides on an adjustable air suspension, with settings for sport and comfort.
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The big seats are covered in leather derived from Scandinavian bull hides, and include massage functions.
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The rear seats are very comfortable, but do not offer the same sort of rolling lounge as the Rolls-Royce Phantom.
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The cabin is made up of thick leather, wood trim, and stainless steel.
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Like many things British, the gauges turn in the wrong direction.
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This shifter works an eight-speed automatic transmission.
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The center gauges echo the Mulsanne's old-world coachwork.
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This dial changes the suspension setting.
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Modern tech shows up in the center LCD, with electronics derived from Audi.
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The Naim audio system delivers exceptional sound quality, and even includes a DSP setting for compressed digital audio sources.
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The stereo includes iPod integration.
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An optional package brings motorized tray tables equipped with iPads to the rear seats.

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