At the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, Bentley Motors is displaying a new multimedia connectivity concept made for executives inside the hand-crafted, luxurious cabin of its Mulsanne flagship.
The Mulsanne Executive Interior Concept provides a stunning array of customized comfort, entertainment and business features that allow an individual to conduct business while on the road or just to unwind between meetings. These features are all beautifully integrated into the luxurious and comfortable cabin that takes the company’s employees more than 170 hours to create.
Mulsanne rear passengers get individual Apple iPad workstations with full internet access – integrated into retractable picnic tables -- while huge, drop-down LED screen makes sure that a wide variety of movies and television program can also be watched. Famous for its meticulous attention to detail, Bentley has added an array of finishing touches such as a Tibaldi fountain pen from its specially commissioned Collection, which is made to reflect the knurled-metal rotary switchgear of Mulsanne and which is discretely put away in the centre armrest.
For the first time in a Bentley ride, a characteristic Yachting-style veneer is evident throughout the cabin, blending dark and light contrasting tones. Alasdair Stewart, member of the board for sales and marketing, commented that many customers spend time in the Mulsanne to stay on top of their business commitments or just to take a few moments to unwind.
The fully functioning concept emphasizes the potential of Mulsanne to assist busy executives to communicate quickly and effectively while traveling. As expected from Bentley, all the features function in harmony with the handcrafted cabin. They can also be hidden or displayed upon the user's discretion.
Key entertainment and business features: Two electric-powered, foldable wood veneer picnic tables in the rear cabin, each with Apple iPad and Apple Bluetooth keyboards. The twin iPads enable the Apple Media Centre to play video files and music, provide access to personal and work e-mail as well as the internet (via W-Lan). Apple Mini Mac stored in boot compartment enables integration of iPad with Bluetooth keyboard and iPod acts as control panel in rear console. Roof console with 15.6 inch High Definition LED dropdown monitor. Plays videos (from both DVD changer and Mac Mini) and watch Television.
Comfort, control and stowage features: Illuminated rear centre console fitted with twin, individual armrests offers true, spacious 4-seat configuration. Rear console also houses Apple iPod (control panel), two cupholders, tissue box and large stowage area. Apple iPod controls - Rear Seat Entertainment (RSE) and audio system, Apple Media Centre, plays music and access to internet. Two USB connectors provided for the Apple system and one Apple interface connector for the iPod. Bespoke control keys on rear console operate picnic tables, reading lights, control HD LED screen and select video and audio options. Armrest contains Tibaldi pen and Privacy Telephone handset. Bespoke bottle cooler in rear centre console with illuminated, double-glazed frosted glass door. Additional, multi-directional reading lights are provided for each rear passenger and can be operated with Apple devices. Sophisticated mood lighting in the rear centre console (using multiple soft glowing LEDs) ensures the stowage areas are lit and the docking station and cupholders are also illuminated for extra convenience.
The new Bentley Mulsanne features a design that combines elegance, solidity and sportiness. Its front end dons a styling that pays tribute to the Bentley S-Type of the 1950s, particularly with regards to the traditional Bentley matrix grille, classic round inner headlamps with chrome surrounds, and two, smaller outboard lamp clusters, all featuring the latest in lighting technology. Customers, however, may specify the optional 'Flying B' retractable radiator mascot. Fitted with a long bonnet, short front overhang and long rear overhang, the Bentley Mulsanne emits an aura power and movement. This is boosted by the fact that the Mulsanne is laden with muscular haunches and sharp lines flowing from the front wings to the rear. It rides on 20-inch wheels, although clients may avail of the optional 21-inch rims.
According to the Bentley Design Director Dirk van Braeckel, the design team for the new flagship Bentley worked painstakingly to come up with a sculpted form that fuses classic Bentley heritage cues with modern lines. Taking charge of producing the body of the new Mulsanne is a new manufacturing facility at the carmaker’s Crewe headquarters. Using traditional metalworking skills, it takes Bentley around nine weeks to build a body for the Mulsanne – a process that is a far cry from the current volume manufacturing process employed by several carmakers.
The Mulsanne’s coachwork fully envelops the rear screen, leading to a flawless line that flows to the rear section of the car. This beautifully complements the Mulsanne’s D-pillars that feature complex curves only skilled coach-builders could accomplish. In fact, during construction, all spot welds and all brazed panel joints are done by hand, thereby increasing its body stiffness while enhancing the Mulsanne’s 'hewn from solid' appearance. On the other hand, Bentley was able to provide the Mulsanne with complex aluminum front wings, a feat that is unachievable using normal pressing techniques.
However, Bentley was able to achieve such a design through superforming, a technology used in the aerospace industry. Superforming did not only allow such complex form, but made the wings lighter, stiffer with remarkable superb surface definition. Bentley also used other lightweight materials – like the composite bootlid – to make some part lighter without compromising quality.