The Mulsanne's look is traditional Bentley but with a modern touch, including an array of LEDs around the headlights' circumference to provide dipped beam. The front is a homage to the Bentley S-Type of the 1950s, but the look is thoroughly modern.

You can have the radiator grille in body colour or chromium plate to choice, and working your way through the ample options list is one of the most satisfying parts of buying a Bentley as you create your own aesthetic blend of colour, wheel design, interior finishes and so on. The bespoke world of Bentley Mulliner takes customisation to a level Mini dealers could only dream of.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Road test editor
The Mulsanne's body features lightweight doors and wings, plus a composite bootlid

The Flying B mascot is, surprisingly, optional but at least it retracts meaning the desirable - read thief magnet - ornament is more likely to remain attached over the long term. Other brightwork includes sill treadplates and matrix grilles.

The 2016 update was extensive and saw a new bumper, bonnet, radiator, front shell, grilles and lights incorporate to give the Mulsanne a wider visual presence. The new radiator grille is a throwback to historic Bentleys, such as the R-Type Continental and the Embiricos. The headlights have been upgraded to adaptive fully LEDs with the rear lights and bumper also subject to the makeover treatment.

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Bentley’s flagship saloon is just under 5.6m long. As such, it’s about 350mm longer than Jaguar’s long-wheelbase XJ, and large even by Bentley’s own standards. The long bonnet, short front overhang and long rear overhang is textbook luxury car styling. Against this girth, the wheels measure 20 inches, although 21s are optionally available.

Compared with its predecessor, the Arnage, it’s almost 200mm longer, although it has an identical claimed weight of 2585kg. The latest facelift has also seen the addition of active engine mounts and revised suspension bushes and specifically designed wave-absorbing Dunlop tyres.

The Mulsanne’s body allows for some of that weightless growth. It sits on a steel monocoque and features lightweight superformed aluminium doors and front wings, a process borne of the aerospace industry. Despite the cutting-edge technology, the D-pillars are so complex, they are created by coachbuilders.

Earlier this year the Mulsanne Speed was given a light facelift which largely saw the wick of the turbocharged 6.75-litre engine.

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