Go big or go home: 1:18 Bentley Mulsanne Grand Limousine by Almost Real
It doesn't get any bigger than this quintessentially British behemoth
If you’ve read my past reviews, you’d know I like British cars, especially Bentley. If you haven’t read them; I like Bentley. A lot. But I don't have a lot of them in my collection - one to be exact with that being a first generation Continental Supersports by Welly. Of course, the 1970's rock classic by Three Dog Night tells us that "One Is The Lonliest Number", so I was looking to give my Continental Supersports some company and add another Bentley. My birthday was coming and that gave me a great opportunity to do some online searches.
I ended up at RacingHeros.com, a big supplier for high end models including CMC and Almost Real. After driving myself and my Father crazy by over-analyzing the purchasing decision, I ended up purchasing this colossal Bentley: a 1:18 Mulsanne Grand Limousine by Mulliner by Almost Real. My desire to get this car was almost as big as the beast itself, but it sold out on Almost Real's website making the available inventory limited. We ended up paying $300 USD, $32 over the original retail price of $268, but that scarcity tax was pretty minor all things considered.
Before I opted for the Massive Mulsanne, I considered other Bentleys and it wasn’t an easy choice. Not only did they offer shorter wheelbase versions in yellow and black, but also this “Grand Limousine” version in Onyx (black), Silver Frost/Moroccan Blue two tone, and all burgundy. Once I found this colorway, “Light Claret Over Claret”, I knew that this was the one to get. How could I not?: I like red wines from France's Bordeaux region and certain types have been dubbed "Clarets" by the British. After ordering this model in February, waiting around five days for it to ship and arrive, and then having to wait an additional 75 painful days for my birthday, I *finally* present to you the beautiful, and absolutely humongous Almost Real Mulsanne Grand Limousine.
The 1:1 is three feet longer than the regular Mulsanne, so the 1:18 is MASSIVE
After waiting nearly three months to open this big boy, I was ready to be blown away and I was. Immediately. Not just by the car, but by the incredibly well thought out packaging. The box design is often the most overlooked part of a product, despite being a big part of the product's first impression on consumers. The Mulsanne box featured numerous low-light and silhouette images, with a handful of logos. I love how the Almost Real logo is a silhouette of a Porsche 356 created by the letters A and R. Once opened, I was presented with a styrofoam shell containing the car. Luckily for me, the screws were super easy to unscrew, a complete 180 from AUTOart's locked down screws that required blasting caps to loosen.
Once unboxed my reaction was very clear. I LOVE it! It is a lengthy 14.5" (36.8 cm) which puts the "Grand" in "Grand Limousine." The paint is spectacular and really shines in the light, as well as contrasting the chrome grille and trim. As Almost Real is one of the last quality diecast metal manufacturers, they provide full access to the passenger, engine and trunk compartments, as well as providing mini luggage to tote in the trunk. That's what you should get when you spend an absurd amount of money on a model and that is what Almost Real delivers. The cabin is fully detailed too, with fine wood trim and superb leather throughout.
No doubt Almost Real knocked it out of the park with the Mulsanne Grand Limo (I'll be calling this the Mulsanne Grand Limo from now on, the full name is a mouthful). The shut lines are virtually perfect, beating AUTOart Signature models by a mile.
My exterior evaluation starts with the headlights and they look spectacular with each individual bulb being a near-perfect recreation. My OCD Vision spot a tiny bit of glue around the headlights but not enough for me to pout about it.
Moving along to the grille and its surrounding vents, they are perforated and chromed, a menacing look for a menacing car. Arguably the classiest feature is the iconic Flying B hood ornament. Spirit of Ecstasy who? LOL. Last but not least on the front of this model is the Bentley badging. The side vents behind the front wheels are in the shape of a B with "Mulliner" written across it. The attention to detail satisfies my OCD.
As we jump to the rear, the Light Claret Over Claret paint job really comes to life. While the license plate is a tad bit distracting, it's still finely detailed - that's Almost Real for you. The tiny script at the bottom of the plate reads "Bentley Motors Limited."
The tail lights round our the rear end and they sparkle under the light with precision detail, surpassing the likes of TopSpeed and AUTOart.
Inside the cabin - Part I
I'm splitting this section into two for easier reading. First up is the driver's portion of the cabin (Part I) and then passenger portion (Part II).
If the two tone paint job wasn't already classy enough, Almost Real went the extra step to furnish the front of the cabin with red "leather" as well as a fully red carpeted floor. The diamond pattern on the seats is molded wonderfully, with seat controls included on the side.
Another detail worth noting is "Mulliner" written out on the chromed door sill, just in case you thought you were stepping in a *regular* Bentley.
One of my favorite parts, that's also a theme to the interior, is the Bentley-esque wood paneling. While it's probably a decal, it's phenomenal looking. It would definitely my material of choice for interior trim.
It would be criminal of me not to mention the solid door recreation as the finale to Part I of the interior. Between the speakers, diamond shaped stitching pattern, and even something as small as the door handle, it's all perfect.
Inside the cabin (Part II)
This is where the real fun part begins. Because the passenger area is cut off from the driver with an opaque window, it's able to fit four (!) seats. It's also fully detailed with the same excellent wood trim, diamond stitching, and red carpet. Clearly many artificial cows were harmed in the making of the artificial, but very realistic, leather present throughout the interior. Even the center console is coated in "leather" with the three clocks visible. I wish it would fold down, revealing the champagne bar and folding wood tables but I guess I'll have to buy the full-size version to enjoy my bubbly later in life!
The interior detail is simply superb. Even the AC vents on both center consoles are present alongside EVEN MORE wood trim. The wood even stretches around the doors and up to the roof. The fabric seat belts are present for each seat as well. And I must comment again on the absolutely wonderful door sills. The light brown leather extends along the sills in tandem with a large speaker and window controls. The attention to even the smallest details is far beyond any of my other models.
Under the hood
The Mulsanne's power plant was the last of its kind - a 6.75L V8 turning out a surprising 505 horsepower from the regular Mulsanne’s motor. That means this beast can go from 0-60 MPH in 5.1 seconds, the same speed as the Alfa Romeo Guilia from the same model year! Almost Real’s engine recreation is stellar. Not only are the hinges incredibly lifelike, the opening and closing of the hood (or bonnet, either/or) is incredibly smooth.
Look at those!
The motor itself looks amazing with a realistic metal look as opposed to molded plastic *cough* AUTOart's Composite Aston Martin Vulcan *cough*. Even the engine tubing looks fabulous, taking detail to a whole new level. The pictures really do the talking for me on the car.
Devil's in the details
I love the model but there’s a few small things that Almost Real could have focused on to make this Mulsanne Grand Limo perfect.
Camber: Right out of the box I noticed a small amount of camber which is disappointing for a brand new model. Yes, I know that this 1:18 weighs as much as a small child and that all models eventually camber, but it’s still worth pointing out because it's brand new.
Chrome exterior trim: The chrome strip on the small body panel between the doors doesn't line up with those on the other doors. Another tiny, tiny imperfection but one that caught my eye.
Gas cap: While I may be pushing it at this point, here me out. Brands like CMC and even Schuco offer opening gas caps on models at or close to what I paid for this Bentley. However the gas cap on Almost Real’s casting of the Mulsanne Grand Limo is molded shut.
Besides those three details, this model is virtually perfect.
In the big picture
If you drop $300 on a model it better be perfect and this one is about as perfect I've ever seen. Almost Real continues to impress with spectacular exterior paint, lavish interior carpet, and even the car's own luggage. How could I not love it?! It’s still available in all four colors - burgundy, Light Claret Over Claret, Onyx, and Silver Frost/Moroccan Blue. I highly recommend this model, but only 500 were made for each color. Claret Over Claret and burgundy are running low in stock, so act now or hold your peace!
1:18 Bentley Mulsanne Grand Limousine by Mulliner by Almost Real