Sunday 23 October 2016

Bentley drives into Stone Age with 200-million-year-old trim

Published 06/01/2016 | 02:30

Bentley now offers an exclusive stone trim.
Bentley now offers an exclusive stone trim.

Bentley has entered the Stone Age - of the future.

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In an extraordinary display of 'exclusivity' by the marque, buyers of their Continental or Flying Spur models can opt for a stone veneer trim in the interior.

The stone may have been 200 million years forming in India's Rajasthan and Pradesh.

Yet you can now order the trim in the bespoke Mulliner-built models.

The veneer of slate and quartzite are honed from large blocks of the material.

So if you are weary of conventional finishes such as wood and metal, then there won't be too many to emulate your tastes. Because the material is so thin you can see the stone's natural grain and pattern.

It is produced by first being cured using glass fibre and a special resin.

Then it is shaped and hand-finished. And you can order it in one of four colours: Terra Red, Galaxy, Autumn White or Copper. Should you wish, you can decide to have your car's entire dash covered in the material or you can opt to have just a section adorned.

Extraordinary and all as it might seem, the voyage of discovery of new ways to kit out cars at the top of the luxury pile doesn't end with the Stone Age.

The company is said to be exploring "new, fine and rare materials" for cars built to the most detailed specification from customers. Geoff Dowding, director of Mulliner Operations says: "Stone veneers are only the beginning of what we plan to do with this luxurious and unique material."

Yet while it might crave the exclusivity of using stone, something jogs our memory to suggest Bentley isn't quite alone in its experiment.

We seem to recollect that Citroen's luxury brand DS had real granite trim in its Crossback concept interior last year.

Nonetheless the Bentley initiative highlights the lengths such marques are prepared to go to attain materials that set them apart.

What next, we wonder?

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