Bentley bespoke: When more than a million custom combos aren't enough
Mulliner Champagne flutes designed by David Redman (Bentley)
Published Tuesday, February 2, 2016 12:03PM EST
The latest individual offerings for the Flying Spur will no doubt spur on Bentley's competition in the luxury car market.
Bentley's Mulliner division has just one job -- to find a way of meeting the needs of the brand's most discerning clients, whether through providing stone veneers, creating integrated picnic hampers or sourcing the most exotic finishes. And if enough clients demand the same features, then Mulliner will turn the request into a potential option for all.
Geoff Dowding, Director of Mulliner explains: "Mulliner offers customers the opportunity to personalize their car over and above the one million plus combinations already available to them. Creating bespoke features is about understanding our customer needs and requirements, and the Flying Spur is a perfect outlet for us to interpret their ideas."
As a result, the 2016 Flying Spur is now available with a selection of singular Mulliner options that may never be offered on a typical executive sedan, yet somehow make perfect sense on a Bentley.
Chief among them is a rear-seat bottle cooler, optimized for champagne and one that can be hidden out of sight by raising the middle seat when required. When on-the-road refreshments are required, the middle seat folds flat as a table. The cooler contains two specially designed champagne flutes that feature a design at their base that mimics that of a Bentley wheel. However, each cooler is made to order so that clients can add further flourishes or features.
But that's just the start. Mulliner can also offer rear-seat passengers hallmarked silver atomisers that can be used for dispensing water vapor or perfume. Offering them meant that the car's rear doors had to be redesigned so that they could hold not just the atomisers but their specially created cases too.
At the beginning of the year, Mulliner announced that it could now offer 200 million-year-old stone as an internal veneer option, and it is adding to this with the option of hand-painting for what it refers to as an "ultra-modern" look. Each panel starts out as a book-matched wooden panel and then is hand painted, lacquered and polished so that it perfectly matches the car's external paint finish while still showing the wood's natural grain.