Last week, the team of skilled craftspeople responsible for producing Bentley’s latest models achieved the sign-off required to begin production of the Bentayga Extended Wheelbase, on their return to the factory after summer shutdown.
The Bentayga EWB defines the benchmark for combining world-class luxury and technological innovation whilst demonstrating new heights of craftsmanship and comfort. Over 132 hours are required to handcraft the new Bentley flagship by the skilled craftspeople at home of Bentley’s carbon neutral luxury automotive factory in Crewe, England. The new model showcases lofted quilting, intricate veneer and metal overlays, and offers a unique interior ambience with Bentley’s Diamond Illumination.
Over 50% of customer orders include the Bentley Airline Seat Specification or Bentley Diamond Illumination, whilst circa 30% of customers include the extended paint range, metal overlays in the veneer and open pore wood. All demonstrating the importance of the hand craftsmansip at Crewe.
Bentley’s instantly recognisable diamond quilting has been reimagined in a dramatic and contemporary new design. Like all great design, the final execution looks simple, but the obsession to detail behind it encapsulates all that is unique about Bentley interiors.
Developed and executed through a combination of digital craftsmanship and precision technology, the symmetrical pattern at the top of the seat backs stretches the diamonds as they move away from the centre line of the seats. The doors, in turn, boast an asymmetric pattern, that accentuates the length of the door and the rear cabin as a whole.
Within each diamond, the flawless leather is perforated with holes of less than 1 mm diameter. Each hole has been digitally positioned with precision by one of Bentley’s interior designers to achieve a cohesive overall design – the ‘digital-crafting’ process.
Once the leather has gone through a perforating machine, the stitching of the diamonds is achieved with a specialised embroidery machine. The machine incorporates a camera which analyses the perforation pattern and ensures the lines of embroidery are perfectly parallel and equidistant between the perforation diamonds. The finished result is a beautiful, elegant and unique design.
To achieve a softer panel, with delicate, luxurious form language, a finer thread (usually found in Bentley’s embroidered logos) and a smaller micro-stitch (half the length of a standard Bentley stitch) has been used. This change of thread and innovation of manufacturing process has created a more accentuated, softly lofted quilting, in a way Bentley has never done before in production. This process is exactly the same as the quilting process showcased on the doors and seats of the EXP 100 GT concept car from 2019.
Woodworking Evolves Through Passion
Since the very first Bentley in 1921, the finest Grand Tourers in the world have been sold with wooden dashboards. In recent years, the shaping and application of ethically sourced, sustainable wood veneer to Bentley interiors has been recognised as industry-leading – the skills of the craftspeople in Bentley’s Wood Shop are identical to those of the finest cabinet makers.
Shaping and polishing wood veneer to tolerances measured in tenths of a millimetre bring an intricate, beautiful element of natural luxury to the cabin. The wood set in each Bentayga EWB takes over 10 hours to curate, and will see the first use of the Metal Overlay in Veneer feature in series production for the class-leading SUV.
This optional feature is included on the passenger’s fascia panel and on all four doors. The intricate design consists of individual brushed metal badges crafted to be exceptionally thin – just and 0.07 mm thick.
To create the inlay designs, a process called photo-etching is used. A very fine stencil of the design is laminated to the metal. After some intermediate steps of UV light exposure and developing of the laminate, the main process chemically etches away areas of metal not required, leaving only the inlay design. Etching means there is little manual handling or cutting of the material so the risk of damage is less and the precision that can be achieved is incredibly high. Each badge is then bonded by hand in a precise location on the surface of the veneer, before the part is lacquered and polished.
Bentley Diamond Illumination
A further striking and elegant optional feature introduced for Bentayga EWB is Bentley Diamond Illumination. The illumination effect is achieved using a total of 68 LEDs that emit light through small perforations 1 mm in diameter in the leather trim on the door panels.
The intensity and colour of the illumination through the trim can be controlled by the customer through the infotainment system and Touch Screen Remote. The feature is linked with the mood lighting to ensure consistent colour and intensity of light throughout the car. This dramatic feature can transform the interior feel and look of the cabin, especially at night.
Advanced Craftsmanship Brings Further Choice
New features like Bentley Diamond Illumination demonstrate how technology combines with contemporary craftsmanship to deliver incredibly modern design in luxurious materials. With 24 billion trim combinations alone (and a total number of possible specifications running into the trillions), the cabin of the Bentayga Extended Wheelbase is capable of offering the most individual Bentayga ever.
The new Bentayga EWB will make its UK public debut at this year’s Southampton Boat Show between the 16-25th of September. Bentley Motors has been confirmed as the exclusive luxury automotive partner for Britain’s largest international boat festival.