What do Mars and the new Bentley Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase have in common? They’ve both been papped by some of the world’s highest resolution cameras.

Why I hear you ask? Because Bentley has decided to use a camera with technology from NASA’s Mars Rover to photograph its new luxury saloon crossing California’s Golden Gate Bridge from 700 metres away. Still confused? Stay with me.

The final image, taken by ex-Autocar snapper Simon Stock, is so data heavy that it takes four hours to download and save on your average laptop. It features 53-billion pixels and is made using hundreds of high-resolution images and stitching them together to create one image. This picture is so large that if it were printed in Autocar in its full glory, the magazine page would have to be the size of a football pitch. Good luck squeezing that through your letterbox.

Epic panorama

So what does this level of detail get you? Examine the picture in its entirety and the Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase looks tiny as it crosses the mile-long bridge. This in itself is amazing, given that this Mulsanne is more than 5.8 metres long.

Zoom in and suddenly the Bentley grows and grows, but amazingly that super high-resolution remains. The image is so high-res that you can zoom right in to the Mulsanne’s seats and clearly make out each of the 4500 stitches in the headrest’s Bentley logo. Amazing.

You might still be thinking so what? And to be honest, before I’d jumped into the back seat of a new Extended Wheelbase with Stock and looked at his photograph on an iPad while absorbing my surroundings, I was also a little underwhelmed. But two minutes into the drive I began to realise that this picture and its vast level of detail served as a perfect metaphor to demonstrate the intricate level of detail Bentley’s designers and craftsmen go into to create the finished product.