A more powerful engine and sportier looks mark out the new range-topping Bentley Mulsanne Speed, which will debut at the Paris motor show.
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Bentley's 6.75-litre twin-turbo V8 has been reworked to deliver 395kW of power and 1100Nm of torque, up from the standard car's 377kW and 1020Nm. As before, power goes to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission, which features revised mapping and an S mode that keeps the engine above 2000rpm to eliminate turbo lag.

Bentley Mulsanne Speed - rear

Cylinder deactivation has been retained and revised, while other efficiency improvements have been made to improve the engine's performance under both EU and US fuel economy standards. Under the EU testing regime, the Mulsanne Speed is said to drink 22.8 litres per 100 kilometres in the city, 9.9L/100km on the highway and 14.6L/100km combined.

A new sport setting not only tunes the air suspension for a sportier drive, but is also said to improve steering feedback and accuracy. With a hefty 2685kg worth of metal, leather and rubber to haul around, the Mulsanne Speed can race from 0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds and hit a top speed of 305km/h.

Bentley Mulsanne Speed - interior

Externally the Mulsanne Speed is identifiable thanks to its new 21-inch alloy wheels, darkened mesh grille, and tinted headlights and tail-lights. Speed badges can also be found on the front fender and door sills.

On the inside, the Mulsanne Speed can be had with carbon fibre inlays, a new selection of colours for the quilted two-tone interior, a 2200-watt Naim audio system, Wi-Fi hotspot, 60GB of on-board storage space for music and video files, electric folding tables with recesses suitable for iPads, frosted bottle coolers and bespoke champagne glasses.

Bentley Mulsanne Speed - rear seat

An updated Mulsanne will be launched alongside the Mulsanne Speed. The regular Mulsanne retains the 377kW/1020Nm output of the current car, but changes to the transmission and engine are said to improve fuel economy by 13 per cent.