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.