Flagship luxury saloon and the V8 engine it uses bow out with ultra-exclusive 6.75 Edition
Production of Bentley's flagship Mulsanne saloon has ended, as work is completed on the final example of the limited-run 6.75 Edition by Mulliner.
The limited-production run-out special had been delayed due to the ongoing factory shutdown caused by the coronavirus outbreak, but Crewe was able to reopen on 11 May with social-distancing measures in place.
The 6.75 Edition was created by Bentley's coachbuilding division, Mulliner, and marks the end of the 11-year production run for the Mulsanne, of which more than 7300 examples were built. It's also the final machine to feature Bentley's 6.75-litre V8 engine, the longest-serving V8 in continuous production.
Just 30 examples of the Mulsane 6.75 Edition, described by the firm as a “fitting send-off for a masterpiece of British automotive engineering and craftsmanship”, have been built. The penultimate example - finished in a combination of gold and grey - is destined for the US, but the final example remains under wraps, its destination "a closely guarded secret".
With no immediate plans to replace the model, sales and marketing boss Chris Craft has confirmed the company will be "redeploying all of our manufacturing colleagues who currently work on the Mulsanne to other areas of the business". The Flying Spur will become Bentley's flagship, with confirmation of a hybrid variant arriving by 2023.
The Mulsanne 6.75 Edition is based on the existing 530bhp Mulsanne Speed, with a number of specific details inside and out referencing the engine. These include seat motifs, chrome badging for the exterior and engine bay and a 6.75 Edition Logo projected by LED puddle lights.
Specific chromework and wheel finishes feature, too, while the engine number plaque - usually signed by the engineer who hand-built it - will be signed by Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark.
The 6.75-litre V8 was first used in the 1959 Bentley S2. Although it shares little actual componentry with that engine, today's iteration shares the same principles and dimensions, Bentley claims.