Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
The Mulsanne is an epically refined beast. Thanks to foam-filled tyres, even over coarse surfaces there is barely any road noise at any speed, while at 70mph just a hint of wind noise from around the door mirrors disturbs its – and your – inner calm.
Accelerate hard and the big twin-turbocharged 6.75-litre V8 engine is noisier than the silky V12s in the Roll-Royce Phantom and Mercedes-Maybach S600, but it’s a pleasant, throaty rumble that you’ll enjoy listening to. And when you want to cruise, that rumble recedes obligingly into the background.
Around town, the Mulsanne’s sheer size makes it feel rather cumbersome, and if you try to drive it quickly along tight and twisty B-roads there’s an unnerving amount of body roll – even with its air suspension in the firmer Sport setting. The sportier Speed model is better tied down but the difference is marginal, although it does feel wieldier than the bigger Phantom. Find a wider, more open road and the big Mulsanne feels more at home. Now you can pick up the pace, which brings about more reassuringly weighted steering with enough precision to place the Mulsanne where you wish with unexpected ease and lean on the plentiful grip from its large tyres.
If you switch the suspension to Comfort, the ride at speed is generally sublime, the Mulsanne’s sheer enormity seeming to pound even the most unseemly surfaces into submission. Mind you, it can still thud a bit around lumpy town roads, so can't quite match the 'waftmatic' serenity you can rely on a Phantom to produce. And if you really value ride quality above all else, avoid the firmer Speed model that can be inappropriately jerky on occasion.