Motoring News, new models, vehicle technology

Barney Rubble had it right! Stone is the new wood

Bentley pushing boundaries of cabin luxury
Light contemporary feature developed by Mulliner
Don’t think slabs, think wafer-thin

bentley stone dark pos 1 600
STONE OF YOUR OWN: Bentley is now offering a new – or should we rather say ancient? – material to enhance and decorate its luxury automobiles. Image: Newspress / Motors

CREWE, England – Bentley Motors’ coach-building division, Mulliner, has been brilliant for decades with leather and with wood veneer in automobiles but is now working on more robust material way older in origin.

Stone. The favourite material of Sixties stone-age cartoon characters Fred and Barney in ‘The Flintstones’.

How about that? Tiled cars!

“This innovative interior finish,” Bentley says, “uses state-of-the-art stone veneer technology to make a contemporary feature of a natural product formed over 200-million years. The stone facings chosen are slate and quartzite from quarries in Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh, India – a nation with an ancient and rich culture of stone masonry.”

STONE OF YOUR OWN: Bentley is now offering a new - or should we rather say ancient? - material to enhance and decorate its luxury automobiles. Image: Newspress / Motors
STONE OF YOUR OWN: The shiny stuff to the right of the centre console isn’t wood, or even leather. It’s 200-million-year-old rock. Bentley is now offering this 1mm-thick veneer as a styling feature. Image: Newspress / Bentley Motors

Veneer is split from larger pieces of stone then cured using glass fibre and resin and shaped and hand-finished by Mulliner coach-builders at the
company’s HQ in Crewe, central England.

Don’t think mausoleum-style slabs. Bentley says the hard slices are only a millimetre thick so are not only light but also translucent, allowing the elegant grain and pattern in the stone to be visible.

Geoff Dowding, Mulliner operations director, told Carman’s Corner through a media release: “Bentley is an established expert in hand-crafting wood and leather. Now we are exploring new fine and rare materials to offer even more bespoke tailoring and choice to our customers.

“Stone veneers are another first for Bentley – but only the beginning of what we plan to do with this material.”

CALL A STYLIST, SHAVE SOME STONE!

Stone veneer is being offered in four colours on Continental and Flying Spur models: Galaxy, Autumn White, Terra Red and Copper. Each customer,

Bentley says, can work with the company’s stylists to discuss the finishes they require.

Bentley Bentayga live, four years after concept

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