Facelifted version of Bentley's flagship saloon is being readied for 2016; new long-wheelbase variant also spotted

The 2016 Bentley Mulsanne has been spotted testing with minimal disguise in both standard and long-wheelbase variants.

The spy shots suggest the styling tweaks for the facelifted car will be subtle, with a revised grille and air intakes. Black cladding partially obscures the new LED headlights, while the redesigned fascia creates a smoother overall shape, with particular focus paid to the front wings.

February 2016 update - see the full reveal of the 2016 Bentley Mulsanne here

The bluff rear of the Mulsanne’s bootlid has also been made smoother, with minimal changes to the rear lights and bumper. The most noticeable alterations for the long-wheelbase version are the elongated rear doors and extended glasshouse.

The twin-turbocharged 6.75-litre V8 engine, which was completely refreshed for the Mulsanne when it was launched in 2010, is expected to remain unchanged, with 505bhp and 752lb ft of torque. Bentley remains tight-lipped on details about the facelift, but with a hybrid Bentayga SUV already confirmed for production, a hybrid powertrain is likely to appear in the Mulsanne too, as previewed in 2014 in the Mulsanne-based Bentley Hybrid Concept.

The facelifted Mulsanne range is tipped to be followed by revised versions of the Brooklands coupé and Azure convertible, along with a production version of the Bentley Grand Convertible concept revealed at last year’s Los Angeles motor show.

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Bentley Mulsanne

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Comments
7

20 October 2015
"...while the redesigned fascia creates a smoother overall shape, with particular focus paid to the front wings." No? Me neither.

21 October 2015
Fascia can be used to mean front of the vehicle too, its not just a word for a dashboard!

21 October 2015
fascia
ˈfeɪʃɪə,-ʃə/Submit
noun
1.
a board or other flat piece of material covering the ends of rafters or other fittings.
"a further piece of chipboard acts as a fascia to disguise the ceiling fixtures"
2.
BRITISH
the dashboard of a motor vehicle.
"the interior boasts a Mercedes-like fascia"

I think it's probably a mis-translation from the German, now that all the engineering and validation is done in Germany. Just look at the road signs.

21 October 2015
I assumed that's what was meant but, apart from the different front bumper air intakes, the other changes are imperceptible, at least to me. The front wings look identical, so I've no idea why they deserve "particular focus". Perhaps I need to get frameless specs and a black roll neck sweater, then all will become clear! Seriously, and more generally, does this tinkering to the original design of a car really "improve" it, or is it just change for change's sake? I can think of many more cars that were uglified rather than improved by facelift. One of my "favourites" in this regard was the 1996-2001 Hyundai Coupe, an inoffensive and pleasant looking car that, in 1999, was given a new four-headlamp front that was comedically ugly and completely ruined it. Going further back, the MK3 Granada's transition into the Scorpio produced a car of weapons-grade ugliness. Even conservative and sensible Audi aren't immune to this: the B6 to B7 update of the A4 in 2004 not only added the "big gob" front grille, but much fussier lights front and rear that were completely at odds with the "Bauhaus" elegance of the earlier car. Sometimes the designers tacitly acknowledge they messed up: the Fiat Grande Punto has been facelifted twice, the second reverting back largely to the original look.

21 October 2015
Daniel Joseph wrote:

I assumed that's what was meant but, apart from the different front bumper air intakes, the other changes are imperceptible, at least to me. The front wings look identical, so I've no idea why they deserve "particular focus". Perhaps I need to get frameless specs and a black roll neck sweater, then all will become clear! Seriously, and more generally, does this tinkering to the original design of a car really "improve" it, or is it just change for change's sake? I can think of many more cars that were uglified rather than improved by facelift. One of my "favourites" in this regard was the 1996-2001 Hyundai Coupe, an inoffensive and pleasant looking car that, in 1999, was given a new four-headlamp front that was comedically ugly and completely ruined it. Going further back, the MK3 Granada's transition into the Scorpio produced a car of weapons-grade ugliness. Even conservative and sensible Audi aren't immune to this: the B6 to B7 update of the A4 in 2004 not only added the "big gob" front grille, but much fussier lights front and rear that were completely at odds with the "Bauhaus" elegance of the earlier car. Sometimes the designers tacitly acknowledge they messed up: the Fiat Grande Punto has been facelifted twice, the second reverting back largely to the original look.

I am in violent agreement. Facelifts inevitably try to "freshen" but normally dilute the designer's original vision, or worse, destroy it. Merc SL and SLK facelifts spring to mind. Diabolical, hodeous, unbalanced and ill-conceived!

21 October 2015
I was hoping that they were going to sort out the rear quarters which look far more bulky than the Rolls Royce Phantom.

wmb

21 October 2015
Why didn't Bentley base the styling of their SUV/CUV off of this vehicle and not the Conti/Spur! The over all shape, the look of the front and other aspects of this vehicle would have MUCH better translated to the two box shape of an SUV! Another opportunity lost. :-(

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