Monday, 13 January 2014

2013 Bentley Mulsanne Executive Interior Brings Screens, iPads [Geneva Auto Show]

In the Bentley lineup, the Continental line and the Mulsanne occupy two distinctly different spots:
The smaller Continental is positioned as sporty and contemporary, while the bigger Mulsanne is
designed to cater to the traditional Bentley customer, the one who owns stock certificates from the
Dutch East India Company. The latter is powered by the torquey and super-smooth 6.75-liter V-8,
the roots of which extend back decades to the time when Bentleys were Rolls-Royces with a more
demure grille. By nature, the Mulsanne customer is far more conservative than the Continental
But that’s not to say they’re Luddites. While a number of Mulsanne owners prefer to be
chauffeured, they also are plugged in, and so the manufacturer says that the idea it previously
floated of an “Executive Interior Concept” was met with overwhelmingly positive response. Now it
is headed for production for 2013, offered to customers at extra cost in “Theatre” or “iPad”
“Theatre” is the specification of choice for those who can afford not to think about work while
traveling. The option outfits the rear cabin with a high-def LED, 15.6-inch center screen and two
separate 8.0-inch screens mounted in the back of the front headrests. If the rear occupant must
work while on the road, though, an Apple Macintosh computer is installed in the trunk and uses
the large, central screen as its display. Twin USB ports allow users to upload films, music, or
documents to the system while control is executed via an included iPod Touch pre-installed with a
special Bentley app. Crystal champagne flutes and an in-car fridge also are included. The latter has
room to cool two full-size champagne bottles, exactly what one needs to “unwind in style,”
according to the press release.
The “iPad” specification installs two iPads and separate keyboards into the picnic trays on the front
seatbacks; they deploy at the push of a button. Both rear passengers can then work, surf the web,
or play music or games. One can also specify a number of further options for these Mulsanne
derivatives, such as yacht-style wood or 21-inch wheels, but the press release does not mention a
beautiful handcrafted humidor, lighter, or ashtray. Times are changing.

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