Bentley Mulsanne offers big car for big bucks

LOS ANGELES It's over 18 feet long and weighs 7,500 pounds. Its hand-built twin turbo engine has more pulling power than many commercial trucks.

It's the newest, grandest model from Bentley, the Mulsanne, and it costs around $300,000.

A traditionally hand-crafted sedan, the folks at Bentley decided that the Mulsanne should pay tribute to the grand Bentleys of the 1920s and 1930s.

The grill is framed by the large light fixtures, which is a Bentley signature, and the instrument dials sweep downward from zero instead of upward. All of these details are very Bentley and very British.

Sitting in the back seat is also completely luxurious. Bentley says each hand-stitched interior takes 170 hours to create.

But the driver's seat is the fun one. The twin turbocharged engine pulls this massive car to 60 mph in just over five seconds, and it'll wind out to a top speed of over 180 mph.

You get a lot of car for your money, but you do have to cough up more money for more car. The base price for the Mulsanne runs $285,000.

Twenty-one-inch wheels will add on $6,300 and the high-end "Naim" audio system will cost you an extra $7,400. Don't forget $2,200 for the rear picnic tables and $485 for the veneered iPod drawer.

The Bentley Mulsanne lives large in the literal and figurative sense. And those with appropriately large bank accounts can probably just write a check. The rest of us will have to be more creative.

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