What rhymes with Mulsanne? We’re not sure, but we’ll likely soon find out: it’s been reported that Bentley is now aggressively courting former Maybach fans and owners, including rapper Jay-Z and actor Samuel L. Jackson.
Reuters reports that Bentley President Wolfgang Duerheimer said that Maybach’s imminent departure from the ultra-luxury car market means more room for established players, Bentley included. “The withdrawal of Maybach is a business opportunity for us and we’re going to use it,” he told the news service.
A luxury carmaker courting pop stars and other glitterati is hardly a new thing, and Bentley has already seen quite a bit of success with its Continental GT, which was the go-to coupe for rappers, professional athletes, and other celebrities for years.
But the Conti’s effect on pop culture paled in comparison to the mighty Maybach. The car has inspired dozens of rap verses, odes, and even a major record label, Maybach Music Group, started by rap superstar Rick Ross. But Daimler couldn’t seem to parlay that pop phenomena into adequate sales, and the iconic triple-M brand will soon shutter.
Enter Bentley, who is quite ready to sell its $296,295 Mulsanne to anyone who was originally looking for a 57 or 62. That includes Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, who famously chopped a Maybach into a landaulet/rat-rod for his 2011 “Otis” music video with Kanye West.
This could spell trouble for Daimler: while Maybach’s departure is paving the way for a slate of long-wheelbase, exclusive variants of the S-Class brand, that are at least a year out. Bentley’s Mulsanne, in the meantime, is already on the market. Considering the Rolls-Royce Phantom, which already received a serious bump in rap verse mentions and cultural value, is aging a bit, it could be the Mulsanne (or perhaps a Bentley SUV?) that takes over next as rap’s go-to ride. That is, unless someone decides to start singing about the Aston Martin One-77…