A gallery of M3 shots to help you make it to the weekend.
0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds the Mulsanne Speed is one of the fastest in luxury cars.
Bentley redefines the fastest ultra-luxury driving experience in the world with a new pinnacle flagship. The new Mulsanne Speed is tailored for the driver, with 537 PS (530 bhp / 395 kW), 1,100 Nm (811 lb.ft) and selectable sports suspension and steering on demand.
The reengineered powertrain, featuring Bentley’s mighty 6¾-litre twin-turbo V8, propels the Mulsanne Speed to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds (0‑100 km/h in 4.9 seconds) and on to a top speed of 190 mph (305 km/h). In modern Bentley tradition, the extra performance is matched by markedly improved efficiency; a 13% gain means a range extended by 50 miles (80 km).
New and contemporary styling features define the Mulsanne Speed as a statement in quintessential British luxury. On-board technology and connectivity are discreetly integrated beneath the finest materials, created with unrivalled craftsmanship and exquisite handcrafted details.
Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley Motors, Wolfgang Dürheimer, comments:
“The new Mulsanne Speed is the car that defines Bentley, as a flagship for driving luxury performance. Our customers don’t compromise, and we’ve adopted the same approach in the design, engineering and crafting of our new flagship. The Mulsanne Speed is distinguished, calm and relaxing, but always with a connection to the road and relentless dynamic performance on demand. In this car, every journey becomes a drive.”
The Mulsanne Speed will be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show on Thursday 2nd October, and will be available for customer delivery this winter.
Torque pushed to record levels
At the heart of the Mulsanne Speed is Bentley’s iconic 6¾-litre twin-turbo V8 engine, which has been re-engineered for the Mulsanne Speed as well as the signature Mulsanne. A totally redesigned combustion system (including combustion chamber, inlet ports, fuel injectors, spark plugs, and compression ratio) promotes a much faster and more controlled combustion process. Through combining these advances with new variable valve timing and optimised turbocharger control, torque output of the engine has been pushed to record levels – 1,100 Nm (811 lb.ft) from 1,750 rpm.
The swell of torque from low engine speeds builds to a new peak power output of 537 PS, enough to drive the Mulsanne Speed to a top speed of 190 mph (305 km/h) – an unrivalled figure in the ultra-luxury sector. The 0‑60 mph sprint is covered in 4.8 seconds, with 0‑100 km/h taking just 4.9 seconds.
The new engine is paired with a recalibrated gearbox designed to enhance the driving experience of the Mulsanne Speed. The gear strategy is optimised for the new, higher wave of torque, and is designed for instant torque delivery on throttle application. The connection between the car and driver has been the focus, and extensive validation with both keen drivers and professional chauffeurs has proven the new setup. A new “S” mode gives the driver even more control, and maintains the engine speed above 2,000 rpm so that the turbochargers are always ready to deliver instantaneous performance.
An extensive recalibration of the engine management system has yielded benefits beyond increased torque and power. The cylinder deactivation system, that runs the engine as a V4 during light load, has been retuned for smoother transitions between V8 and V4 for even greater refinement. This work combines with a new gearbox control strategy and the engine hardware improvements to give a new level of efficiency for the Mulsanne engine.
Meeting the new EU6 emissions legislation, and designed to also meet the upcoming US LEV III standards in the future, the new powertrain records 342 g/km of CO2 on the NEDC drive cycle – a 13% improvement on the current Mulsanne. The ensuing fuel economy improvements have extended the fuel range of the new Mulsanne Speed by 50 miles (80 km).
A Chassis System Tailored to the Driver
To deploy the effortless power and acceleration on offer in the Mulsanne Speed, an even more driver-focused Sport suspension mode is included. While the Bentley and Comfort suspension modes provide a comfort-focused and fully compliant chassis setup, the Sport mode stiffens the all-round air suspension for improved body control and adjusts the steering dynamics for greater feedback and accuracy. The driver can also choose to individually match steering, chassis and engine tunes according to personal preference through the Custom setting.
Through this new setup, the Mulsanne Speed builds on the abilities of the signature Mulsanne model, being able to switch from a communicative and enjoyable car to drive at pace, to a relaxing, comfortable and exceptionally refined limousine.
An assertive exterior
The Mulsanne Speed reflects its ground-breaking performance with new and more assertive styling features that are marks of distinction for Bentley’s pinnacle flagship.
A dark tint finish is applied to the exterior stainless steel matrix grilles, in a process unique in the automotive industry, with the radiator grille, lower bumper grilles and wing vents all featuring this exquisite treatment. The distinctive headlights of the Mulsanne show the same dark tint application, and at the rear of the car the taillights retain the “floating ellipse” design, but are similarly finished with a dark tint for a striking appearance, especially at night.
The Mulsanne Speed introduces Bentley’s first ever directional style wheel, with a design that is handed for the right or left side of the car. The 21" wheels, available in painted, polished and dark tint with machined accent finishes, are individually machined from solid forged blanks, before being perfected by hand.
Twin rifled exhaust tailpipes are the finishing touch to the revised powertrain, while solid, polished stainless steel Speed badging adorns the front fender and door tread plate areas.
Four new exterior paint colours are introduced for the Mulsanne and Mulsanne Speed. These are:
Spectre: Seemingly black at first glance, heavy gold metallic and a hint of green result in a rich tone inspired by reptilian skin.
Candy Red: A rich and deep liquid red.
Camel: Reminiscent of golden sands, Camel has a bright metallic highlight with a butterscotch mid-tone.
Marlin: A rich blue with a hint of green, inspired by the shade of deep ocean waters and with a metallic shimmer.
The “standard” paint range covers 25 shades, including Marlin, while the optional extended range features over 100 colours. A fully bespoke paint-matching service is available on request.
A Cabin of Contemporary Luxury
The cabin of the Mulsanne Speed is a contemporary reinterpretation of the exquisite interior of the Bentley flagship. To create a modern two-tone feel, a new and unique colour split is available, with new stitch lines, that balances diamond quilted light-colour hide with darker, smooth hide. A new technical veneer option is available, with Piano Black veneer panels now including expertly handcrafted carbon fibre inlays. These new, contemporary panels have been especially developed for the Mulsanne Speed and match the rich, lustrous finish of the Piano Black veneer.
The Mulliner Driving Specification interior features are fitted as standard to the Mulsanne Speed, and includes:
Diamond quilted hide door panels and seats
Indented hide headlining
Embroidered Bentley emblems to all seats
A coined finish to interior door handles
Knurling to the sports gear lever and “organ stop” ventilation controls
Drilled alloy sports foot pedals
Customers choose from 24 different hide colours, in six different colour splits, and ten different veneers (seven as cost options) when specifying their Mulsanne Speed. Included in these ranges is a new hide colour, Camel (to match the new exterior paint of the same name) and a new veneer to the Mulsanne family, Tamo Ash.
Concealed Technology and Endless Customisation
Concealed beneath the exquisite materials that define the Mulsanne Speed cabin is a suite of technology to make any journey as productive or relaxing as one desires. A 60 GB on-board hard drive can store the driver’s collection of music and films. Electrically-operated tables, with recesses and connections for iPads and matching keyboards, can be fitted to the rear of the front seats, while on-board Wi-Fi through a dedicated router keeps the car connected to the outside world. A frosted glass bottle cooler, complete with bespoke crystal champagne flutes, may be installed behind the rear armrest. A 2,200 watt Naim for Bentley premium audio system expands on the standard 14-speaker system and offers the best in-car sound experience in the world. Entertainment on-the-move can be provided through the Rear Seat Entertainment system, including two 8” screens and Bluetooth headphones.
Signature Mulsanne updated for 2015
The signature Mulsanne ultra-luxury sedan has been updated for 2015, to complement the launch of the performance-focused Mulsanne Speed. The Mulsanne receives the same efficiency upgrade through new engine hardware, with its 512 PS (505 bhp), 1,020 Nm (752 lb.ft) 6¾-litre twin‑turbo V8 engine also now 13% more efficient. Changes have also been made to the gearbox calibration of the Mulsanne, focussing on smoother, relaxed gear changes that promote a comfortable and refined driving experience. New paint colours, hide and veneers options are also available across the Mulsanne family.
The surprise in the Audi Q5 TDI.
Story by: Richard Melick
I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. Diesel is coming back in force in this battle for eco-friendly engines and smart designs in cars. I am a personal fan of this often-overlooked fuel source and get unnecessarily excited every time a manufacturer announces a model with it as an option. The hard fact is that Americans find it difficult to separate the thoughts of dirty diesel from the modern car-buying process, and while it is understandable, it is time for the change to occur. And Audi is definitely leading the pack in showing the world that diesel is to be taken seriously.
As a TDI owner myself, it’s not often that a diesel vehicle will surprise me. Granted, I own a v10 twin turbo diesel, but it still gets 30 MPG and has ungodly amounts of power behind it, and might be considered the most impractical SUV I can own, but I do love it. My father has the 3.0 TDI Audi Q7, and I used to own the 2.0L TDI Jetta Sportwagen. You might say I am hooked on these engines, and of course, there is a bias. But when I got into the Audi Q5 TDI, I was blown away. All the previously mentioned vehicles are amazing, but not necessarily perfect in every way. The V10 is still a juggernaut on the road, and the Q7 is a bit under powered, while the Jetta didn’t really surprise most except for how quiet it was while on the road. But here was this mid-size SUV, one that I have loved since it’s launch, packing this great engine, and all of a sudden, I felt like I was being reintroduced to this amazing engine and technology
From the acceleration to the lack of noise, the technological features such as start/stop and different driving modes, this was the first time I have driven a TDI and felt like it was the complete package. And with the ability to get over 600 miles to a tank, more than double what I get in my vehicle, in a vehicle with clearance and a pure driving experience behind it, I couldn’t help but be amazed. And neither could anyone that I was able to get into the vehicle. Nobody believed it was a TDI, yet there it was, getting great economy and making the whole experience enjoyable along the way.
I often talk about the future of the car, and make suggestions that I hope at least one manufacturer will read, but this is the first time I can truly say that someone beat me to the punch. The Q5, one of the best selling mid-size SUVs on the market, has such a range of options available that it truly can fit almost any budget and lifestyle. And with the TDI added to the mix up, it’s hard to see why you would choose anything else. It’s a very fun engine, one that can handle all the challenges ahead, including the Rocky Mountains, but also fit perfectly as a date-night ride. It is a status symbol of sorts, and one that has earned its place in your garage.
Audi has done an amazing job at making the case for a TDI luxury vehicle, and has delivered on the promise over and over and over with their full range of options. I couldn’t be happier about this, and while other manufactures have diesel options like BMW and Mercedes, there is something different about the TDI. It’s a level of pride to make the claim, to have this vehicle in your driveway, and to brag about it to your friends. Having owned them for years, I can say that is a fact. And with the Q5 TDI, there is something that just backs that pride up with performance, comfort, and surprise with every turn.
One of the hottest models out of Germany since Heidi Klum.
Affalterbach. The first Mercedes was a racing car and its most recent successor carries this heritage forward. With the new Mercedes-AMG GT, the Mercedes-AMG sports car brand is moving into a new sports car segment. The GT is the second sports car developed entirely in-house by Mercedes-AMG. Its front mid-engine design with a rear transaxle and use of intelligent aluminum lightweight construction form the basis for a highly dynamic driving experience. Its newly developed AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine underscores the hallmark of AMG driving performance. The first sports car engine from AMG with internally mounted turbochargers ('hot inside V') and dry sump lubrication is configured in two output ratings: as a GT with 456 hp (340 kW) and as a GT S with 503 hp (375 kW). The new GT combines driving dynamics and first-class racetrack performance with superb everyday practicality and efficiency that sets new standards in the segment.
It has everything you would expect from an authentic Mercedes-AMG sports car – from the characteristic styling, thoroughbred motorsport technology to the optimum weight distribution. The drive system tailored to consistently delivering driving dynamics perfectly complements this set-up. The centerpiece of the Mercedes-AMG GT is thethe new 4.0-liter V8 biturbo, which responds instantly with extreme power at low revs and delivers outstanding performance. Top figures such as 3.7 seconds from 0-60 mph (preliminary) and a top speed of 193 mph (310 km/h), combined with the outstanding driving dynamics will undoubtedly translate into extremely fast laps on the racetrack.
At the same time, this two-seater is a comfortable and reliable companion for everyday motoring thanks to its practical decklid, easily accessible luggage compartment, and high level of comfort on long journeys. It also features an extensive list of Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive assistance systems which ensure the high level of safety expected from Mercedes-AMG.
"With the new Mercedes-AMG GT, we are venturing out into a challenging sports car segment with its top-class competitive field. This is an incentive and motivation for us at the same time to prove to sports car enthusiasts around the world the kind of performance that AMG is capable of", says Prof Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.
"With the new GT we are positioning Mercedes-AMG even more aggressively than to date as a dynamic sports car brand", says Tobias Moers, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. "With its technological substance, the Mercedes-AMG GT fulfils our high aspirations with regard to driving dynamics, agility and sportiness. The new GT is the second sports car developed fully independently by Mercedes-AMG. The car is manufactured according to the motto 'Handcrafted By Racers' – which perfectly encapsulates our heritage and our spirit."
Japanese automaker offers up GTR to replace Deadmau5's Purrari.
To say trolling is all the rage these days wouldn't be accurate, but it would be fair to say that in recent days major players have gotten in on trolling. From Canada trolling Russia on twitter to the Russian embassy trolling the United Nations (yes, this is apparently the current standard of politics) to Nissan getting into the mix with Ferrari.
EDM DJ Deadmau5 (yes, all real words) had a Ferrari that he'd wrapped in a Nyan cat theme and dubbed the Purrari. The Purrari made the rounds in the news as part of this years Gumball 3000 and again when he decided to auction the car, all of which Ferrari was not pleased about. After a cease and desist letter was sent by Ferrari the car was returned to it's original condition. Enter Nissan who offered to send Deadmau5 a GTR wrapped with the same Nyan cat theme with the note, "Hey @deadmau5, heard what happened to your car. Good news? We found a replacement, ready right meow."
So far Ferrari has yet to respond to Nissan's trolling, but they maybe caught up in a cat nap.
Delivering different with the Chevy Volt.
Story by: Richard Melick
I love the alternative fuel movement hitting the streets in the shapes of new cars, especially as manufacturers are thinking outside the box of normal to deliver truly different and forward thinking rides to help offset our love of oil. Granted, not all of them have been my favorite, as some have accused me of being too vocal against the Prius, but there have been other rides that have caught my eye and really impressed me. From the Nissan Leaf to the Tesla Roadster, I find myself leaning towards pure battery powered rides, meaning mixed powered vehicles tend to appeal to me less within the eco-category. But I think the 2014 Chevrolet Volt really is one of the few I would consider buying for myself.
Before I get started, I am still hesitant on battery technology in vehicles. The manufacturing and after-life of the components worries me a bit, and while there are companies seeking to improve it, I feel that we as a buying public should have a full understanding of the full process and life of these vehicles. Some companies, such as Nissan, are working on technology to reuse their batteries in local municipalities, while others such as Tesla are looking at new recycling techniques. This gives me hope, but in the end, I tend to lean towards efficient motors such as the TDI technology from Volkswagen and Audi as a great sign to a fuel efficient future.
But let’s look beyond my bias as the Volt has made a fan out of me. From the sleek styling to the well appointed interior, technology integration to the drive technology, it is one of the most well thought-out hybrids in my opinion. With the electric motor powering the vehicle for 40 or so miles, I never once had to switch over the gas mode in the ending as I was able to charge up at most the locations I visited around Denver. With enough get-up-and-go to keep up on the highways as well, I never felt like I was driving a battery laden car. Instead, it handled more like the electric go-carts at the local track, with a great amount of torque taking the vehicle up to speed. It was a joy to drive and made me think that maybe, just maybe, I could add it to my garage to offset the V10 diesel Touareg I used as a daily. Granted, if I had a family or had to carry my dog around more, this would not be the ride for me. The back seats have little to no legroom when I am in my driving position, and with the center console bulge in the middle, my dog cannot lay down as he normally would in most other vehicles. But these things aside, it’s impressive enough to warrant a solid second look from anyone looking to buy a hybrid vehicle.
Truly, I think the Chevy Volt does something more than bring faith to the hybrid vehicle market. For me, as I look at the amazing technology in this car, from the touch sensitive buttons or the large display featuring just about every bit of information you could ever want or need, I see the future of Chevrolet at the rest of the GM brands. It’s a proof of concept that even well priced vehicles can have great technology, interior designs, and futuristic features. And by showing that eco-friendly can be classy, futuristic, and fun, I cannot imagine why GM would not be looking to bring these kinds of updates to other affordable vehicles in the near future.