Whilst there is wealth in the world, there will always be a place for the luxury car. Those with the deepest pockets around often have a taste for the finer things in life and, to that tune, the finer things on four wheels.
In this department, Bentley has been on hand to cater for the needs of the privileged few for the best part of a century. Since 2010, its current luxury line-up has been led by the Mulsanne, a name almost as illustrious and evocative as the great British brand itself.
Now, raising the pinnacle of luxury to as yet unscaled heights is the all new Bentley Mulsanne First Edition, which takes to the stage at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show this week.
The First Edition adds a further sprinkling of opulence to Bentley’s existing three tier Mulsanne range, comprising of the standard model as well as the performance-focused Mulsanne Speed and stretched Extended Wheelbase. With just 50 examples earmarked for production at the historic British stable’s headquarters in Crewe, it’s very much a case of first come, first serve for the First Edition Mulsanne.
Besides the usual array of creature comforts that give the Mulsanne its palatial reputation, the limited-run First Edition comes equipped with a smattering of bespoke goodies that set it apart from the rest of the range.
Top of the billing is the bespoke Mulliner sterling silver vanity kit, complete with comb hairbrush and mirror, inlaid into the rear picnic table. Mounted on a stow-away tray, the kit is made-to-measure and hand-crafted by luxury jewellers Asprey’s of London. Explore the cavernous cabin further and you will discover several other tricks hiding up the First Edition’s immaculately tailored sleeve. A champagne cooler plus flutes straddles the rear reclining seats, each of which comes with extending footrests. What’s more, passengers can soak up the sun in luxurious bliss thanks to the addition of a sunroof for the rear compartment. Ivory coloured curtains adorn the rear windows, making it easier to get some much-needed shuteye on those long-haul journeys.
If all this is still not enough to satisfy your lust for exclusivity, then fear not. A very limited number of the Mulsanne first Edition cohort – including the example on display here in Beijing – are bestowed with special veneer interior trim crafted from a 350-year-old English walnut tree. The Bentley Mulsanne has never been so at one with nature – in a roundabout way.
All around the cabin, First Edition motifs including Union Jack-inspired embroidery on the seats will catch your eye. Amongst the more general improvements for the refreshed Mulsanne range include an additional 250 mm of rear legroom for the Extended Wheelbase variant plus those aforementioned new airline-style reclining seats. A pair of 10.2” Android tablets, slotting into the rear of the driver and passengers, are laid on by Bentley at no extra charge.
The Mulsanne First Edtion makes its international debut alongside the 2016 Bentayga SUV and the sporty new Flying Spur V8 S on the Bentley stage at the heart of the Beijing Auto Show concourse. The Chinese motoring extravaganza runs until the 4 May.