With product cycles seemingly now measured in months and cars updated almost as soon as they've been launched, that the Bentley V8 has lasted this long really is remarkable. While tinkered and fettled over the years, the engine was first used in the S2 of 1959, meaning it's now in its seventh decade of continuous production.
All good things must come to an end, though, and a V8 with the swept capacity of a superyacht engine and claimed fuel consumption of 17mpg just won't do in 2020 - more's the pity. The Flying Spur will assume the role of flagship saloon in the Bentley range, with its downsized - all things being relative - engines supplemented by a hybrid option in 2023 so that the Crewe cars can "define the future of sustainable luxury mobility."
The Mulsanne will not exit stage left with a whimper, however - far from it. This 6.75 Edition by Mulliner is the final Mulsanne, with the last 30 cars being produced to this spec. Bentley says the car represents "fitting send-off for a masterpiece of British automotive engineering and craftsmanship", which it's hard to contest.
Derived from the 537hp/811lb ft (!) Mulsanne Speed, the 6.75 Edition receives additional chrome for the lights alongside "dark tint" treatments for the Flying B, the grille and exhausts; the wheels are the 21-inch Speed wheels in a "unique bright-machined finish with gloss black pockets."
Further identifiers can be found inside - a motif stitched into the seats, clock faces of an engine cutaway and ventilation controls that feature mini oil caps at the end - as well as under the bonnet, where the engine plaque is signed by Chief Executive Adrian Hallmark. The cabin of each 6.75 Edition will only be trimmed in one of four single tone leathers (Imperial Blue, Beluga, Fireglow and Newmarket Tan) with the silver accents - you can choose any exterior colour you want, but they're the options inside.
Predictably, a price hasn't yet been released for the 30 Editions, though given the significance and exclusivity it's hardly likely to come cheap - especially with a Speed already at £260k. Still, you get the impression that the investment should well be worth it, both as an experience for now and should the time come to sell. Because, crying shame though it is to publish, there just isn't going to be a 6 ¾-litre Bentley ever again. A few fortunate souls can hopefully console themselves with this car, and some others may well seek solace in the classifieds - this Speed is less than £100,000 with fewer than 10,000 miles...