Automobile

Legality Is the Only Limit When Bentley Customizes Your Car

“When we talk about bespoking the car, part of the reason why it takes longer is because we have to involve engineers to keep it legal and safe while also delivering the quality we expect,” Williams said. The automaker must stay within the framework of legality, but from there the options “are exceptionally broad,” Williams went on. “The only disadvantage is you have to be a little bit patient.”

Customers can choose from Mulliner’s ideas catalog—something I imagine to be a monstrous, leather-bound tome—but it frankly comes down to how creative you want to get. Bespoke wood, to use Williams’ example, might take a couple of weeks to apply, but sometimes people want to create a color or stitching scheme that requires them to work with stylists and engineers. 

Williams was diplomatic when asked what the most elaborate customization he’d ever seen was—”It’s about personal taste. We’re not there to judge, we’re there to satisfy dreams and desires,” he said—but he did state that he’s seen a lot of intricacies around color. Traditionally, Bentley’s cars are more subdued than ones you’d sometimes see from Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, or Lamborghini. But as the ages of people customizing their Bentleys drops over the years, the automaker has noticed an uptick in flashier color choices. People now want “striking combinations of color” that they can combine with stuff like their own names in the stitching, for instance.

Additional challenges the team faces include implementing stone veneers. (It didn’t even occur to me that you could put stone veneer in a car.) There isn’t a huge demand for it, according to Williams, but apparently, it’s pretty beloved by the people who do get it. The veneer takes the place of normal wood veneer and of course, has to be strong, stable, and reliable. You can see it in the gallery below:

The biggest commission in recent memory was the Mulsanne Grand Limousine. They’re a set of five, never-titled Mulsanne limos that were recently for sale. Ordered by a customer in the United Arab Emirates, the cars were built in 2015, delivered, but never registered or used. 

Creating the Grand Limousine involved stretching the donor cars’ overall length by a whole meter—thus necessitating a re-engineered chassis and suspension system—and giving them a higher roof to comfortably accommodate the two regular front-facing seats and two extra rear-facing seats. 

For that, “Mulliner worked closely with the engineers,” Williams said. “It wasn’t just an engineering job or a craftsman job.”

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