Autocar's journalists have emptied their notebooks with some of the best stories you might have missed this week.
This week: Bentley's vast customisation options, and Stellantis on making EVs more affordable.
Spoiled for choice
Have you ever wavered on buying a new car because it isn’t offered with 18k gold-plated organ stops?
Step forward Bentley, which is building on the surge in popularity of options from its Mulliner personalisation division (around three cars built per day feature bespoke requests) with new options to choose from.
Alongside the 1920s-inspired gold dashboard decorations, Bentley customers can now also specify new types of open-pore veneer – coated in just 0.1mm of lacquer – for the interior trim and a selection of new colour-matched wheels.
With an already vast array of options on the book, Bentley says there are now 17 billion ways to specify a Bentley Continental GT.
Don’t bite the hand
Car manufacturers have a huge job ahead to ensure customers aren’t priced out of the market by inherently more expensive electric cars. Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares summed up the challenge.
“Electrification is much more expensive than conventional technology so we will need some time to make sure that what we do best – which is productivity – is going to translate into lower costs for the EV technology, so that we protect the affordability of the automobiles,” he said.
“If we pass to the consumer the additional costs of electrification, then we are going to lose the middle classes: they will not be able to afford new cars, which means the customer base of this industry is going to shrink, and the industry will have to right-size.”