As Bentley approaches its centenary in 2019, the designers at its Mulliner division have been reflecting on the last 99 years of the company’s products which have contributed to the British automotive story. In doing so, they have come up with the Mulsanne W.O. Edition, a new very special limited edition Mulsanne destined to be a truly unique collector’s item. The design cues are taken from the 8 Litre – built in an era that has been defined as the ‘golden age’ of motoring in Britain.

The original 8 Litre was described as W.O. Bentley’s finest grand tourer. Launched in 1930, it was also the last car he personally designed for Bentley Motors.

With the Mulsanne W.O. Edition by Mulliner, Bentley pays homage to the founding father of the company and incorporates a genuine piece of Bentley history in every car. Inside each of the 100 limited edition Mulsannes, a slice of the original crankshaft taken from W.O. Bentley’s personal 8-Litre car decades ago is displayed. It is the last model he designed for Bentley Motors back in 1930.

The Bentley 8 Litre was the largest and most luxurious Bentley of its time, featuring the most powerful engine of any car available in Britain – a 7983 cc straight six that offered remarkable performance.

The Mulsanne W.O. Edition further enhances its formidable road presence with Onyx paintwork (although customers can specify other colours from Bentley’s extensive pallet), chrome bonnet strip and graceful Flying B Mascot atop the optional chrome radiator shell and grille. A discreet W.O. Bentley signature badge is displayed on the lower bumper, while special centenary badging adorns the self-levelling wheel centres and door treadplates.

The Mulsanne W.O. Edition can be specified on any of the three-model Mulsanne range, based on customer preference. Key features include a colour split interior cut from Heritage Hide reflecting the patina of vintage cars, elegant Beluga black wheels, and a stunning cocktail cabinet or bottle cooler.

The interior displays a range of exquisite features inspired by luxury living in the 1930s – key to which is the Mulliner illuminated cocktail cabinet. A marquetry scene on the handcrafted unit – depicting the geometric front matrix grille and headlight of the 8 Litre – reveals a display window, inside which the piece of the crankshaft from W.O. Bentley’s own 8 Litre car is showcased. Just below the machined metal display case is an inscription detailing the significance of the Bentley artefact.

To create the marquetry scene, a number of different veneers and materials were used. Four different wood types give contrast and depth to the piece, while aluminium is used to achieve the highlights, signature and geometric pattern. The diamond-like borders that run parallel to each side add to the contemporary look while retaining an art deco feel.

This special model will make its public debut at Monterey Car Week in California in late August, with customer deliveries commencing in 2019.

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[Chips Yap]

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