For most of its long and storied history, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance has provided a rearview mirror on the automotive past, but this year, the show is serving up a look towards the future for one of the industry’s most exclusive and celebrated marques, Bentley Motors.
The British brand pulled off a first-of-its-kind coup, this year, convincing Concours organizers to permit, for the first time in its 59-year history, the debut of an all-new automobile. More specifically, it’s the public unveiling of the Mulsanne, the completely redesigned flagship for Bentley, which is also the “honored marque” at the 59th Concours d’Elegance.
Expected to carry a price tag in excess of $400,000, the Mulsanne is “miles away” from the outgoing Arnage sedan, says the brand’s CEO Franz-Josef Paefgen, an aging behemoth that has served as the pinnacle of Bentley’s line-up for more than a decade. For the British brand’s aficionados, that’s an inside joke referencing the fact that that both Arnage and Mulsanne are noted points on the legendary Le Mans race track where Bentley first established itself more than 80 years ago.