“Everybody must get stoned,” sang Bob Dylan. And while some folks think that might be the anthem for the marijuana legalization movement, Bentley is taking the eclectic folk singer’s advice in a different direction.
The British maker already offers buyers a wide array of choices when it comes to interior finishes, primarily classis automotive materials like leather, wood, aluminum and high-tech carbon fiber. It’s now adding a new option: stone veneer.
“Bentley is the established expert in the handcrafting of wood and leather,” claims Geoff Dowding, Director of Mulliner Operations, “and now we are exploring new, fine and rare materials to offer even more bespoke tailoring and choice to our customers.”
(Bentley offering the world’s most expensive in-car clock. For more, Click Here.)
The veneers – using ancient slate and quartzite stones quarried in Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh, India – will be offered as part of the Mulliner line of bespoke Bentley models. Like other ultra-luxury makers, Bentley has found a surging demand for extensive, and expensive, customization.
The veneers are just 0.1 mm thick – barely the thickness of a human hair. That means they weigh next to nothing, but they pick up an unusual translucent quality, Bentley claims. The stone is cured using special fibers and resins and then mounted on the instrument panel and other parts of the cabin.
Through Mulliner, Bentley plans to offer the stone veneers in four different colors on it Continental and Flying Spur models. It hasn’t revealed what the option price will be.
(Click Here for details about the strong market that remains for high-end, powerful cars.)
With traditional luxury materials like leather, wood and metal migrating down into the mainstream automotive market, it has become a challenge for premium manufacturers like Bentley to maintain a clear differentiation. That has led them to explore a variety of new alternatives.
Maserati, for example, has formed a partnership with upscale fabric and clothing manufacturer Ermenegildo Zegna. They’ve developed a new silk blend that can stand up to the abuse automotive seats and other interior trim pieces experience. The new material is being offered on several 2016 Maserati models.
(Click Here for more on the Maserati/Zegna partnership.)
Bentley officials hint they may soon add some other creative alternatives for high-end buyers.
The new stone veneers offered by Mulliner, said Dowding, are “only the beginning of what we plan to do with this luxurious and unique material.”
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