Bentley describes the Mulsanne’s design as a “unique fusion of sportiness, coachbuilt elegance, and solidity.” Six inches longer than the Arnage but similar in height and width, the Mulsanne is indeed flagship-sized. The most dominant aspect of the big Arnage’s design is the pair of “highly prominent” Gatling-gun headlamps—some nine inches in diameter—flanked by smaller ancillary lights, an arrangement that recalls some Bentley grand sedans of the past. The “matrix” grille is huge and cliff-like, while the lower air intake spans the width of the car and features matching mesh. It is, as intended, unmistakably a Bentley, with a nod to the present in the form of an octet of Audi-like LED driving lights. Oh, and not to be outdone by Rolls-Royce, a “Flying B” radiator mascot is available as an option—and is retractable, of course.
Moving down the body and around the back, one encounters plenty of pretty surface detailing but exactly no surprises. It’s easy to pick out cues from the Arnage (the chrome latticework around the windows), the Brooklands (C-pillar, taillamps) and the Continental Flying Spur. The body side rises over the rear fender, keeping the rear, which elegantly slopes down to the rear bumper and its pancake-flat twin exhaust tips, from looking droopy in spite of its long overhang. The base wheels are 20 inches in diameter, and two 21-inch variants are optional, the latter wrapped in 265/40 series Pirelli P Zeros like the ones found on Bentley’s Speed variants.