Continentals and Flying Spurs finished by custom coachbuilder Mulliner are now available with stone veneer sourced from India

Buyers of bespoke Mulliner-built Bentley Continental and Flying Spur models can now choose to spec stone veneer trim in their car’s interior.

Split from larger pieces of stone, the slate and quartzite veneers are just 0.1mm thick, and serve as an alternative to conventional finishes such as wood and metal.

The material is so thin that it’s both light and translucent, allowing the stone’s natural grain and pattern to be visible. It’s cured using glassfibre and a bespoke resin, before being shaped and hand-finished in a choice of four colours: Galaxy, Autumn White, Terra Red or Copper.

Sourced from Rajasthan and Pradesh in India, the stone veneer comes from blocks that have taken as long as 200 million years to form. It’s the first time Bentley has offered such a finish in its cars.

“Bentley is exploring new, fine and rare materials to offer our customers even more bespoke tailoring and choice," explains Geoff Dowding, Director of Mulliner Operations. "Stone veneers are only the beginning of what we plan to do with this luxurious and unique material.”

Mulliner, Bentley's bespoke coachbuilding division, gives customers the opportunity to order cars with unique specifications. They can opt to have their car’s entire dash fascia covered in stone, or smaller sections of interior trim can be made of the material. Pricing for the stone veneer will vary depending on the amount specified in each order.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen stone used in a car interior. Citroen sub-brand DS revealed the Crossback concept in 2015 with real granite trim in its cabin. Admittedly, this flexible veneer was sourced from a more local French source, but its presence suggests stone could also feature in more affordable production cars in the near future.

Our Verdict

Bentley Continental GT
The Bentley Continental GT is now available as a W12 or a V8

Full of character and still able to impress, particularly as a V8

Join the debate

Comments
10

TS7

4 January 2016
translation: "highly profitable"

5 January 2016
Witless gimmick. How long before Bugatti slice a 4.6 billioin year-old meteorite?

4 January 2016
Autocar wrote:
comes from blocks that have taken as long as 200 million years to form
Bit the like the underlying platform, then.

4 January 2016
As previously used by Fred Flintstone.

4 January 2016
The Arab oil we burn in them formed about 500 million years ago in just the right circumstances, so the rock is just a baby :)

4 January 2016
pretty sure a G55 i was in had stone inlays

5 January 2016
If a unique natural material is used as an accent trim in a car interior why overly process it so much that it barely resembles the original material? Why can't the stone be its natural colour rather than stained to resemble colours that was never meant to be in nature? It looks fake and out of place and lacks the sophistication of a fine wood or turned stainless steel. The trim reminds me of the same plastic laminate with fake stone or marble patterns you see on kitchen countertops in the 70's and 80's. This will make Bentley's too-liberal custom interior selection program even more open to even more garish interiors and colour combinations. The 2009 Maybach 62s Landaulet featured polished sparkly black granite trim in an otherwise all white interior. Even though the ultra-exclusive car costs $1.35m, the granite trim looks more like a glittery bowling ball than a finely crafted piece of stone. I think and hope this fad will pass very soon.

5 January 2016
I beliee Bentley makes a lot of money for VW. But at what cost? Aesthetically and in terms of taste Bentley has hit rock bottom. To add yet another material to the dashboard in a conventional two-dimensional way fails even to explore the possibility of stone. In any case the Bentley interior is already overloaded with different - and often conflicting - shapes, materials and architecture. In short, a visual mess that only the most visually inarticulate customer takes for luxury. I suppose when you are rich, more means more, like money itself.

5 January 2016
Probably mined by kids with dangerous methods after the Bentley procurement team have left the mine on their audit visit (and stone was already offered by Mercedes S Class Coupe about 15 years ago....)

5 January 2016
200-million-year-old-stone!! Or...stone.

Looks like Formica.


Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Seat Leon 1.4 EcoTSI FR Titanium
    First Drive
    27 May 2016
    High-spec new Titanium FR trim is temptingly good value, particularly on the semi-enthusiastic 1.4 EcoTSI petrol
  • Kia Niro
    First Drive
    27 May 2016
    The Kia Niro will be one of the greenest cars in the compact crossover class when it goes on sale later this year. We drive it to see what else it has to offer
  • Car review
    27 May 2016
    Can the turbocharged successor to the 458 raise the bar again?
  • Car review
    27 May 2016
    The big-in-every-way Bentley SUV lands. We assess the impact
  • Volkswagen Touran 2.0 TDI R-Line
    First Drive
    27 May 2016
    The Volkswagen Touran R-Line offers a sporty twist on the ever-sensible MPV formula. We’ve sampled the punchy 2.0-litre diesel