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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I remain perplexed by wheel and tire sizes for luxury cars. This car looks to have a 45 aspect ratio tire (coupled with perhaps 20″ wheels) and, to me, it not only looks wrong, it undoubtedly effects ride and cabin noise. Why put wagon wheels and low profile tires on a car like this?
Undoubtedly the car has been over-engineered for almost complete interior silence, and the suspension has the ability to absorb the inevitable harshness of low profile tires, but that won’t stop a chuck-hole from totaling a wheel, and that doesn’t ameliorate the look.
When did ample sidewall on a tire become so unfashionable?
Agree with the comments on the frontal styling which are true of all Continentals also.Assume they wanted to demonstrate brand identity. I would think this will at least double the price of the base car so there are a lot of choices at that level. Maybe a Purosangue?
Bentley had planned to build a very limited number of a drophead version of Mulsanne called Grand Convertible in 2014. Yet, only the concept car existed, and no documentation existed whether Bentley actually build a few or several or none at all.
I absolutely adore the idea of personal Luxury Coupes, sadly they’re extinct. Save for things like this. Shame.
That’s almost as hideous as a Maybach.
this is a super ugly car, I can’t comprehend how high or drunk these other commenters are.
Yep, you nailed the description of this one. Of course, as recently as 2010, Bentley had a full-range of big-body cars. In addition to the Arnage (sedan), there was also the Brooklands (coupe) and Azure (cabriolet). And they felt rather more special than the Continental GT, GTC and Flying Spur, which were essentially Volkswagens with British coachwork.
In fact, the basic Arnage, Azure and Brooklands platform dated back to the pre-split days, when Bentley and Rolls-Royce were the same company. Since Bentley and Volkswagen retained what is essentially the old company–with the modern Rolls-Royce ultimately a distinct and newly formed company under BMW in 2003–Bentley kept all the existing tooling and IP. By 2010, Bentley had revised the P2000/P3000 architecture that underpinned the original 1998 Bentley Arnage and 1998 Rolls-Royce Silver Seraph, but it was the same platform.
So when the gorgeous Mulsanne debuted in 2011, it was disappointing to learn that Bentley wouldn’t be giving it coupe and cabriolet counterparts. It was more disappointing when Bentley decided to cancel the Mulsanne in 2020, without a successor…ending the lineage for both the fully handbuilt Bentley and for the brand’s heritage 6.75-liter V8, which dates back to the 50s. Now, they just have the Continental GT/GTC and Flying Spur, which admittedly are brilliant cars, especially as they now share their MSB platform and electronics architecture with Porsche, specifically the Panamera.
(Side note, the Mulsanne’s electronics architecture is shared with the contemporary larger Audis, like the A6, A7, and A8. My 2013 A8L 4.0T has the same basic electronics, including the MMI setup)
Although, now that I think of it…Bentley did do a car called the Grand Convertible in 2014, that was based off of the Mulsanne. They made 19 of them and they cost a cool £3 million, or thereabouts. It figures that a coachbuilder would do a coupe, and the coupe gets the benefit of being built off of the prettier post-facelift (2017-2020) Model.
Oh my is that wonderful. The side and rear are almost perfect, the front is something that I think would be good but just needs some time to get used to. I’m sure that the size and scale in person make a huge difference. But @Thomas, I share the same opinion about the Brooklands! That is hands down one of my favorite cars of all time and would be a lottery-winning purchase if ever there was one. I simply adore the design.
My biggest issue here though, and where this falls terribly short of the Brooklands, is the B pillars. Big coupes with no/disappearing B pillars where the whole line of glass goes down uninterrupted is my absolute favorite automotive design detail. Nothing looks as beautifully clean as that.
Am I seeing things or does the blue one have it’s directional wheels installed facing opposite directions? For that reason, and that reason alone, I’ll have to pass.
They are the standard Mulsanne Speed wheels and it does indeed look like they didn’t put rears on the correct side.
This is the level of aspiration lifestyle detail focus that you get from post-Lotus Dany Bahar.
Just pop half the wheels on backwards.
I saw the side view….WOW…it’s stunning.
Then I saw the front…..well shit.
Yeah, I’m still not sold on the frontal styling, but the rest of it is gorgeous, and that interior is really the ideal of what a luxury car should be
“Benz S-Class coupe look nouveau riche”
The S-Class is the official car of Russian oligarchs and Wall Street livery cabs, it definitely appeals to the nouveau riche.
That greenhouse has a strong 60’s vibe when many of the so-called personal coupes grew to immense size. I love it.
I find this quite attractive. A lot of modern coachbuilding misses the mark, but this is elegant and cohesive.
Someday I will own a Bentley, but an older one.
This makes me miss the luxo land barges of the 60s and 70s.
More like the “Personal Luxury Cars”. Kinds of looks like a bigger, fancier Monte Carlo.
I was thinking Monte Carlo too LOL
overdone, over the top, and I love it.