In 2022, Mulliner, the bespoke division of Bentley has continued to see exponential growth, maintaining the growth that it saw last year. Since 2020, the requests for personalization and bespoke content through Mulliner has grown by 200 percent, which is the highest in the country’s history. On average, there are three Bentleys produced per day and it includes bespoke requests.
Back in the early days at Le Mans, they introduced a new feature in the form of 18K Gold Plated Organ Stops. It was a tribute to the original Bentley Boys, while providing an iconic and timeless finish. This feature was recently seen in one of the Limited Edition cars from Mulliner, and it can be added to the interior of any specially curated Bentley. In honor of Sir Henry ‘Tim’ Birkin, one of the original ‘Bentley Boys’ from the 1920s and 30s, the Number 9 Edition by Mulliner was added. Birkin was not only a Bentley customer, he was also an investor and racing driver, full of entrepreneurial spirit and ambition. Through the collaboration between man and machine, emerged the 4 ½ liter ‘Blower’.
Another update is the additional selection of open-pore veneer. Influenced by the Stone veneers’ natural effect, they have added some new options like Liquid Amber, Tamo Ash, and Vavona in more sustainable open-pore finishes. For protection, all are given the ultra-thin matt lacquer treatment and it also gives the surface the natural texture of the wood which varies from the traditional smooth gloss finish and the 90 percent less lacquer.
Using only the best, most figured stock available, open-pore veneer has three ultra-thin layers of lacquer that totals a mere 0.1 mm in thickness. To compare, the High Gloss lacquer coating in Bentley is 0.5 mm thick and has a glossy, smooth finish. Each layer is meticulously applied by hand and sanded between applications, making sure that the lacquer sticks to the wood’s natural grooves. This results in a wax-like finish that showcases the authentic, natural color and texture of the wood species.
The Mulliner Personal Commissioning Guide provides a unique mix of contemporary and traditional options that will definitely cater to the diverse and extraordinary clients of Bentley. Clients have a variety of options in terms of hide colors, painted veneers, personalized interior stitching, and tweed trimmed door inserts are only some of the unique offerings that Bentley Mulliner can provide. These options can definitely enhance the unique feel and look of the clients’ Bentley.
The latest Mulliner Personal Commissioning Guide has nine different designer suggestions to help spark the creativity of the clients, or simply to give them a base design for them to be able start on their journey towards their own unique car. With the increased demand, the team at Mulliner were challenged to come up with new personalization features.
The number of Bentleys that had bespoke features and content has been growing from only 2 percent in 2020 to 6 percent of the annual production. Checking the request of the clients for each model. Bentayga clients maximizes the exterior paint options. Flying Spur clients are more interested in Mulliner features like the dual finish veneers. Continental GT clients utilizes the Personal Commissioning Guide like the pinstriped carbon fiber body kit option.
The Rise of Individuality
In the last century of Bentley’s history, Mulliner has been responsible for some of the most unique and iconic cars made. Ranging from the R Type Continental in the 1950s, to cars fit for royalty. Recently, there are the exceptional Blower Continuation and Bacalar projects.
The oldest coachbuilders in the world give their clients different options for more individuality in their commissioned Bentley. Options range from simply providing unique colors and bespoke stitching, to a more grandiose completely coachbuilt, one-off Bentley.
In July 2021, Mulliner was able to surpass the 1,000 bespoke projects milestone, since they established the specific design team in 2014. In just 10 months since then, the number of projects that Mulliner has completed has risen to 1,350. It’s a huge surge in demand that is a testament to Mulliner’s increasing capability to delivery any option that the customer desires.
Another trend is the rise of the number of bespoke features requested by clients. In 2020, an average client would ask for around two features, today, an average client would have around seven requests. Whether with the help of the co-creation skills of the Mulliner design team or simply having a flair for design, clients can really modify their cars from a simple change of paint to a fully themed vehicle celebrating the client’s favorite pastime, passion, or their business.
Recently, a popular project had Bentley Ontario tap Mulliner’s expertise to create a bespoke space themed Bentayga Speed for one of its clients. They used the content from Mulliner’s personal commissioning guide and some bespoke elements.
Bentley retailers are quite important in helping bring interesting regional variations to clients around the world through the help of Mulliner.
Having one of the most extensive color palettes in the world, matched with almost limitless interior options, the different configurations can actually number billions. In fact, there are currently a total of 17 billion ways that a customer can specify their Continental GT.
If that is not enough for the client, there is always the services of Bentley Mulliner, the in-house bespoke division of Bentley, wherein their only limitation is the client’s imagination.