The Bentley Brooklands Coupe is one of my favorite cars ever made. It makes a Mercedes-Benz S-Class coupe look nouveau riche, features an ancient and brutish motor, and could’ve only ever existed during the brief window in which it was made. Bentley has yet to attempt another truly massive coupe, which means that the Brooklands was the end of a spiritual line that started way back in the 1920s. Or at least, it was until now. Meet the Ares Modena Mulsanne Coupe, a brand new coachbuilt special that truly might be the last of the big Bentley coupes.
Before 1946, Bentleys were coachbuilt cars of speed and craftsmanship. The fastest lorries available to mankind cloaked in whatever bodywork their owners fancied. Names like H. J. Mulliner & Co., Park Ward, and Barker appeared on fabulous sheetmetal, only to eventually disappear when coachwork moved in house. Thankfully, in the 21st century, there’s still a tiny market for coachbuilders, and Ares Modena is among the best. Let’s take a look at what it’s done to a Mulsanne.
Yes, the last of the big Bentleys has been turned into a coupe, and it looks like a properly involved job. A coupe demands a revised roofline, and that was the first order of business. However, to get the rear three-quarter view and profile right, Ares Modena had to lay down the rear window, which meant re-working the C-pillars and revising the rear deck. What’s more, Ares moved the B-pillar rearward which means the doors and the quarters and all the side glass has been changed. The quarters are aluminum, the roof and the doors are carbon fiber, and the whole car claims to be lighter and more aerodynamic than a stock Mulsanne.
What’s more, all those exterior changes means some significant interior alterations needed to happen. New front seats with backrest releases were needed to allow for rear seat access. New door cards were needed to fit the longer doors, and a new headliner was needed for the new roof. The result of all this sheer work is a thing of beauty. It’s not quite as handsome as the Brooklands coupe that came before it, but it’s certainly no less imposing. In two-tone blue, the Ares Modena Mulsanne Coupe looks as regal and monolithic as a palace. In black, it looks like it’s willing to grind you and your family into a fine paste. Don’t forget, 505 horsepower and a massive 752 lb.-ft. of torque reside under a normal Mulsanne’s hood.
The Ares Modena Mulsanne Coupe is a car Volkswagen-owned Bentley dare not have made in the wake of Dieselgate. To the sensible people of the world, a giant egoistic coupe with a 6.75-liter V8 dating back to 1959 is a disgusting concept, so it would’ve been a massive optic faux-pas eight years ago. I say it’s damn near perfect. Dream cars are supposed to be mad, wasteful, selfish, sinful objects of desire, and this thing fits that description to a tee.
As with most coachbuilt creations, only a handful Ares Modena Mulsanne Coupes will be made, and although a price for the conversion hasn’t been released yet, it’s unlikely to be cheap. Still, anyone who can afford a nice late-run Mulsanne can surely afford this conversion. Unless they absolutely need the functionality of the rear doors, they’d be foolish not to do it.
(Photo credits: Ares Modena)
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