Don’t get caught with the same interior as your neighbour
Is a luxury car finished without a custom finish?
Bentley Motors wants to let you know that they offer more than 5,000 different options for trimming out the inside of your new vehicle, and that ranges from a single wood veneer to actual stone for your dashboard veneer. With plenty of luxurious other choices to complete the list.
The automaker says its average customer age continues to drop, and as the ages of both customers and style change, demand increases for interior finishes that would have made poor W.O. cringe in terror. He stared the brand in 1921 and a wooden dashboard was a crucial part of the vehicle. It still is, of course, as Bentley’s craftspersons, which it compares to “the finest cabinetmakers,” polish veneers measured to tenths of a millimetre. The Bentley Continental GT alone is offered with seven different species of tree, and you can pair any two of them for an even fancier touch.
But for those not wanting wood, Bentley Mulliner now can take 200 million-year-old stone and create a 0.1 mm thick veneer. Just a hint of stone, meaning that they won’t add unnecessary weight to the already hefty cars. The stone is an “open pore” finish, meaning it looks and feels like stone rather than being hidden under varnish. Slate and Quartzite are sourced from quarries in India, split from large blocks before being cured, shaped, and hand-finished. Four colours of stone are available and it can be doubled with other finishes as well.
After an actual rock dashboard, the other choices seem rather dull, though that’s in boldness not finish. The piano painted veneers are quite glossy in appearance, painted to match any of Bentley’s 88 exterior paint options or eight leather choices and polished to a mirror look. Open pore wood veneers give the classic look but with lower gloss and more texture, painted with just 0.1 mm of lacquer. That’s a fifth of what would be used on standard wood.
Lastly re the technical finishes, which will likely catch the younger and more hip buyer. High gloss carbon fibre with a resin designed to enhance the pop of the weave or diamond-brushed aluminum with a 3D finish are both on the options list.
We’d take the stone, though, because while Hyundai and Kia can offer faux piano-finish trim and a similar fake carbon fibre, we think it’ll be a while before you can get a rock-dash Rio or pebble-finished Palisade.