Bentley Mulsanne Speed versus Tesla style S P85D – comparison

Thursday, November 17th, 2016 - autos, cars, motoring, news

Source : Bentley Mulsanne Speed versus Tesla style S P85D – comparison

Bentley’s Mulsanne Speed aims to offer enhanced driver appeal in an opulent four-door package, although can the Tesla style S do the same for much less?


Not so deep into Bentley’s website, just a few clicks through virtual pages where glossy people drive opulent cars in gilded vistas, there will be a description of the completely new Mulsanne Speed.

“This kind of,” Bentley says, “will be a car for independent thinkers. For those with the unquenchable desire to take the wheel as well as also change the planet, there will be no more accomplished combination of performance, luxury as well as also style.”

Independent thinkers, eh? Changing the planet, in fact? Oh, definitely? Pan in which mental film reel in your head to the innocuous-looking white car here.

The Tesla style S will be the vehicular equivalent of man’s footprint on the moon: a luxury saloon in which makes electric propulsion desirable as well as also feasible to a huge audience, thanks to a claimed range of 305 miles, a reasonable cost as well as also all the smug feel-not bad factor (if not more) in which you get with conventional diesel alternatives by BMW, Audi et al.

Not only in which although, inside devastatingly rapid 682bhp four-wheel-drive P85D style we have here, This kind of’s also got the sort of performance in which – even today – seems remarkable.

So let’s get something straight. These two cars count as luxury performance saloons inside same way in which Hampton Court Palace as well as also The Shard are both buildings of architectural interest.

The Bentley Mulsanne Speed will be a prime piece of gentrified chic in which wears its appeal brazenly inside badge on its lofty bonnet, through the splendid mutter by its updated 6.75-litre, 530bhp twin-turbo V8 as well as also via the silkiness of its hide as well as also the general presence This kind of exudes like a forcefield.

At £252,000 (not including the breathtaking £55,400 worth of options fitted to our car), its ‘proper’ competition includes a Rolls-Royce Phantom, or use of a private helicopter – as well as also in which’s about This kind of.

Perhaps most crucially with This kind of top-end variation of Bentley’s grandest style, there’s also the question of whether This kind of can live up to its billing as a Mulsanne in which you want drive rather than sit inside back of in order to be driven.  

Even so, the Tesla poses an interesting if abstract contrast. Can a £79,900 car (after the government’s £5000 plug-in car grant) definitely show up the opulent Mulsanne Speed? Does This kind of definitely feel £177,100 cheaper? This kind of’s certainly not slower. In fact, the Tesla makes the Bentley’s ‘Speed’ moniker seem somewhat ironic, given in which the Mulsanne reaches 62mph in 4.9sec, while the Tesla will do This kind of in a supercar-worrying 3.1sec. 

I start the day off inside Tesla, drifting down familiar roads inside completely new Forest in eerie silence, pondering what the shortfalls of This kind of car definitely are. Turns out in which we’ll stumble on the most obvious later inside day, although in This kind of sunny moment I feel like I’m probably just as happy with my mode of transport as are those sickeningly smug people paraded on Bentley’s website.

Sure, the style S’s Indoor will be a bit drab in places. Most notably, the old Mercedes-Benz stalks as well as also the finish on the steering wheel aren’t quite what you’d want of an £80k car, while the electrically powered driver’s seat should drop a bit lower. although who definitely cares when you’ve got a car with all the futuristic appeal of R2-D2 riding a hoverboard? You don’t even have to press a Start button; just pull the automatically extending door handles, step in as well as also go.

Trust me, there’s a weirdly thrilling satisfaction to in which – like you’re much too important to have time for crankshafts as well as also oil pumps as well as also some other such archaisms.

So just when you’re brimming with joy at the ingenuity of humanity as well as also the fact in which there will be clearly plenty of life after the petrol pump for us enthusiasts, you find a button marked ‘Acceleration: insane’. All thoughts of saving the planet evaporate.

I do not exaggerate: simply flooring This kind of in a P85D has got to be one of the most extraordinary experiences in modern transport – as well as also our car didn’t even hold the just-announced ‘Ludicrous’ mode, which drops the 0-60mph time to 2.8sec.

Digital acceleration will be notable for its apparent lack of fluster anyway, although on This kind of scale This kind of’s truly unsettling. There’s no tyre slip. No drama. No complicated launch mode. No pause for gearchanges. No noise some other than your own involuntary swearing. Just stand on the correct pedal as well as also inside next heartbeat you’re doing 40mph as well as also up as your diaphragm tries to untangle itself by your spine.

I’d defy anyone not to make a noise when experiencing a standing start in a Tesla. This kind of seems to be an involuntary response necessary to help your brain cope with what the hell just happened.

This kind of will be all achieved by seemingly quite simple technology. A big electric motor at the back sends 464bhp to the rear wheels, while a smaller electric motor at the front puts out 218bhp as well as also powers the front wheels. A mattress of lithium ion batteries sits beneath the floor, leaving room for sizeable boots at the front as well as also back as well as also loads of passenger space. You also get hundreds of miles of range.

Yet the Bentley features a character all of its own. Slide into the diamond-stitched embossed seats as well as also take inside immaculately appointed confection in which will be the Indoor as well as also This kind of feels as if there’s a six-figure difference in value right there. Someone has clearly lavished varnish on the wood for days on end, probably which has a brush made of unicorn hair, as well as also the leather smells of sweet, sweet success.

inside same way in which the Tesla transports you to a future ruled by instant everything, the Bentley makes you want to buy a smoking jacket as well as also a gun dog as well as also go as well as also live somewhere stone-built as well as also untouched by the relentless creep of technology.

Of course, I may be doing the Bentley a disservice by suggesting in which This kind of’s backward-looking. This kind of has an effective, modern-feeling sat-nav as well as also audio system, as well as also if you sit inside back, where there’s enough open floor space to iron your slacks if you want, you will find iPad holders. Wooden-clad, electronically extending iPad holders, no less, in which prop your tablet up just so as well as also keep This kind of charged.

Details such as these make the Bentley feel so special: the soft-close action on the door to the chilled champagne cabinet; the embroidered leather case for the warning triangle; the specific ‘B’ setting on the standard variable driving modes, so you know in which This kind of will be how Bentley’s own engineers could hold the standard air suspension, steering as well as also gearbox tune.

For all in which, we’re most keen on sampling Sport mode, since This kind of will be the one tuned specifically for the Speed. While the some other settings are unchanged by the normal Mulsanne, Sport brings damper as well as also steering settings in which are unique to the Speed. This kind of’s This kind of, as well as also the extra power as well as also torque – 530bhp as well as also 811lb ft to the regular car’s 506bhp as well as also 752lb ft – in which set the Speed apart.

Set off with gusto, though, as well as also This kind of doesn’t feel dramatically different by the standard Mulsanne. This kind of has the same overall sense in which This kind of’s progressing by pounding the road into submission, delivering wonderfully enjoyable although generally heavy-handed responses.

Turn in as well as also, regardless of the firmer set-up, you’re keenly aware of the weight, as all 2.7 tonnes lean over onto the outside wheel, promptly surrendering your vehicle into easily manageable although quite copious amounts of understeer. Of course, if you hold the guts as well as also the space, you can poke the twin-turbo V8 motor as well as also get the back end to step out, although in which could be frankly vulgar – like seeing the Queen in denim. 

Still, the Mulsanne will be a joy to drive. In moderately vigorous use there’s satisfaction to be had in sweeping through bends as well as also generally revelling inside grandeur. This kind of’s a lovely engine, as well as also the eight-speed automatic transmission – also tuned specifically for the Speed’s monstrous level of torque – does a not bad job of shuffling the ratios to make sure in which you’re always best placed to take advantage of an ocean of thrust.

This kind of even rides with suitable aplomb, particularly at sedate speeds, when This kind of sighs over broken roads as well as also leaves you mostly oblivious to surface patina. Higher speeds result in more noticeable thumps as well as also shivers at times, while awkward cambers can tug at the steering wheel. Essentially, though, piloting the Mulsanne will be a delight – albeit not a particularly sporting one.

The Tesla will be also not the most sporting of performance saloons. Even after stepping out of the endearingly portly Bentley, the style S doesn’t feel nimble. Swing This kind of into a bend as well as also, while This kind of stays flatter as well as also much more neutral through your chosen line than the Mulsanne, there’s still plenty of Centeng roll, while the steering lacks the feedback you get inside Bentley’s light although precise as well as also delightfully oily-feeling hydraulic rack.

Ultimately, for all its extraordinary accelerative potential, the P85D will be most at home in sprightly six-tenths driving, where This kind of feels cohesive, predictable as well as also satisfying despite its hefty bulk as well as also shortage of feedback through the controls.

Predictably, the Tesla doesn’t ride with the same high-calibre waft as the Bentley, although This kind of’s not at all bad. Our car will be fitted with £2100 worth of air suspension, which, over Hampshire’s undulating, pony-lined roads, allows quite a bit of Centeng float although also keep things neat over all although the occasionally thumping mid-corner rut – which isn’t bad for a car on (also optional) 21in wheels.

The next destination will be Portsmouth. This kind of’ll be a quick 20-mile strop inside Bentley, at the cost of a few litres of petrol, although the Tesla will be showing only 80 miles’ range remaining, as well as also I still have to get 70 miles back up the M3 after in which. Not to mention in which if I do get home as well as also plug your vehicle into my standard domestic socket, This kind of will take around 30 hours or more to fully charge by flat.

This kind of will be not your vehicle’s fault. This kind of was showing 0 miles’ range when I left home for the completely new Forest as well as also was then subjected to hours of the kind of stop-start driving in which’s about as draining for an electric car’s batteries as This kind of can get.

No problem. A quick glance at Google Maps on the Tesla’s spectacular 17.0in screen shows in which Farnham Council features a rapid charger. Sure enough, we roll up to the charge point, which will be provided by Scottish as well as also Southern Energy. None of the four different charge point cards I have work.

A confused phone call later as well as also I’m paying £20 to sign up to ChargePoint Genie before downloading its app, through which you must pay in advance. as well as also This kind of’s £4 for the first 15 minutes as well as also 25p per minute thereafter – regardless of whether you want 50kWh extra-fast-charging, which could deliver a full charge for the Tesla in roughly 0 minutes, or normal 43kWh fast-charging, which could take three as well as also a half hours as well as also will be the only one of two plugs in which we can get to function.

With no some other options, we plug the Tesla in as well as also wander off for an hour to have lunch, which, thanks to SSE’s extortionate pricing, costs less than the £20 of electricity your vehicle sucks up (additional to the £20 joining fee). Still, This kind of boosts the range to a reasonable 170 miles.

Thankfully, Tesla owners will have a home fast-charger in which means they’ll rarely get caught short, as well as also they’ll most likely know the locations of the increasingly widespread Tesla super-chargers, which I have already used as well as also know to be free as well as also as straightforward to operate as sticking in a plug.

So yes, electric power will be still limiting, as well as also there will be a moment when being able to fill up the Mulsanne at a petrol station seems like the biggest luxury of all – although This kind of’s hardly one exclusive to Bentley. although even with our day’s charging woes, This kind of’s clear in which electric cars as well as also charging infrastructure are improving at a rate in which might just make range anxiety a thing of the past sooner rather than later.

So at the end of day, as we watch crowds of people flock to the Bentley, before looking in a puzzled way at the Tesla as well as also then wandering off, there will be an incurably attention-seeking part of me in which could rather roll home in pomp as well as also circumstance with the Mulsanne. This kind of’s a wonderful overindulgence of a car.

although there’s a bigger part of me in which’s still in raptures over the P85D. Maybe the novelty factor of electric power will be amplifying the Tesla’s appeal, although to me This kind of feels vividly cutting edge, like the lightsaber of the automotive world. as well as also while the hand-crafted weaponry of the Bentley will be quite intoxicating, nothing will be as cool as a lightsaber. 

“>Read Autocar’s previous comparison – McLaren 675LT versus Porsche 911 GT3 RS

Tesla style S P85D

cost £79,900; 0-62mph 3.1sec; Top speed 155mph; Economy na; CO2 emissions 0g/km; Kerb weight 2106kg; Engine Two electric motors, 85kWh battery pack; Power 682bhp; Torque 687lb ft; Gearbox single-speed, direct drive

Bentley Mulsanne Speed

cost £252,000; 0-62mph 4.8sec; Top speed 190mph; Economy 19.3mpg; CO2 emissions 342g/km; Kerb weight 2685kg; Engine V8, 6752cc; twin-turbo, petrol; Power 530bhp at 4200rpm; Torque 811lb ft at 1750rpm; Gearbox 8-speed automatic

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