Bentley Mulliner is celebrating its 1000th bespoke commission since its own dedicated design team was formed in 2014, when the increasing demand for bespoke and personalised vehicles was recognised.
The 1000th bespoke project is for a European customer who wanted two specific interior features to extend the personalisation of their Bentley. The first request was the application of Olive Ash – a veneer associated with the heritage of Mulsanne – to the interior of a Bentayga. The second was to introduce a contrast twin stitch to the upper areas of the seats and door trims adding further contrast to the interior.
Seven years earlier, the first project was a small limited edition of 15 vehicles which focused on increased levels of passenger comfort – the Flying Spur Serenity. The seats and headrests were re-engineered and as part of the broader redesign a new and unique diamond quilting throughout the cabin was introduced to create a truly bespoke feel. This unique textured leather formed the inspiration of the diamond design that can be seen in the current Continental GT Mulliner today.
In celebrating this project milestone, the Mulliner Design team has shared some of their favourite examples from the last seven years. Their work spans the entire Bentley model range over that time – from jet-fighter inspired Continentals, to Mulsannes that celebrated its 6¾-litre V8 engine, and even a Bentayga that had different interior trim specifications between the driver and passenger sides.
The 1000 bespoke projects since 2014 range from personalised, bespoke treadplates all the way to completely unique and Coachbuilt projects like the Bentley Mulliner Bacalar, and include regional and global commissions, limited series and even race cars designs.
The specialist team, itself part of the Bentley Design department, consists of designers and digital artists to create the perfect blend of impeccable design with the ability to produce photo-realistic renders of customers’ designs before orders are placed. This single team, responsible for every Mulliner-designed product over the last seven years, has allowed for a deeper integration of core Bentley design DNA into Mulliner products while also expanding the scope of possibility to the customer. The Mulliner customer of today is now only limited by two constraints – their imagination and the law.
The Mulliner Design offering is a core part of Bentley’s Mulliner portfolio strategy, with the team working across all three parts of Bentley’s bespoke and personalisation division.
The low-volume nature of Mulliner’s work also brings additional freedoms to the design team, which works closely with the rest of Bentley Design to develop new ideas and concepts that would not be feasible for series production Bentleys. A key example of this work is the range of Mulliner stone veneers, which can only be sourced in small quantities due to the exceptionally intricate and difficult manufacturing processes involved in shaping and finishing a sheet of stone less than a millimetre thick.