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AIMS: Bentley’s British bruisers dressed to impress

Sumptuous coupe: Bentley expects that up to 90 Continental GTs will find Australian homes this year.

Mulsanne, Continental GT, Flying Spur mix technology and tradition on Bentley stand

28 Jun 2011

AS THE first well-heeled Australian recipients of Bentley’s redesigned Continental GT welcome the $405,714 luxury coupe into their garages, the general public will get the opportunity to see the car on the British marque’s Melbourne show stand.

Six months of pre-orders and levels of customer interest that have “exceeded expectations” for Bentley’s Australian outpost would suggest the new car may be even more successful than its predecessor, of which around 250 were sold since the early 2004 launch.

Bentley expects a flying start with up to 90 Continental GTs finding Australian homes this year, an increase of 50 per cent on 2010.

Alongside the lighter, more powerful updated GT – in which some 423kW of 6.0-litre, twin-turbo W12 engine powers all four wheels to achieve a sprint to 100km/h in 4.6 seconds – will be Bentley’s super-luxurious Mulsanne limousine.

Blending traditional craftsmanship with iPhone-generation technology, the $662,000 replacement for the ancient Arnage was developed from scratch with body panels created by vacuum-forming heated sheetmetal to create seamless shapes for an authentic coach-built look.

 center imageLeft: Bentley Mulsanne. Below: Bentley Continental Flying Spur sedan.

Bentley says creating each Mulsanne is even more labour-intensive than for the Arnage, taking nine weeks to build each car. No fewer than 17 hides are used to upholster the interior – which itself is said to take more than 170 hours to finish.

The Mulsanne is propelled by a 6.7-litre petrol V8, force-fed by twin turbochargers to deliver 377kW of power and a bitumen-blistering 1020Nm of torque, comfortably reaching 100km/h from rest in 5.1 seconds.

The engine also features fuel-saving cylinder deactivation, allowing the 2.5-tonne Mulsanne to cruise on four cylinders under light-load conditions.

The third model on display will be the latest Continental Flying Spur sedan, which Bentley describes as a “sumptuous and spacious four-door grand tourer with the heart and soul of a high-performance coupe”.

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