PerformanceDrive - Bentley are renowned for sourcing the most decadent and luxurious materials available for its ultra high-end, bespoke vehicles. The wood panels used in the interiors are sourced only from the root ball of elderly trees, which have the most integrity and decorative pattern. The steering wheel alone takes 15 hours to stitch from the finest leather in the world.
Those leather hides from up to 20 animals normally find their way into the interior of a Mulsanne, but a new kind of customer is emerging and they are not happy about this particular notion. At the Future of the Car Summit in the UK, Stefan Sielaff, who is Bentley’s design chief, proclaimed the company’s intention to cater for vegan customers with a range of new materials.
“You can’t sell an animal-containing product like a Bentley, with 20 leather hides, to someone with a vegan lifestyle. We’ve been talking to these customers, in California especially, and they’re asking us what can we give them. We do a lot of custom-made and coach-built solutions, in conjunction with our colleagues at Mulliner, and therefore we want to satisfy these customers because they are the peak of a trend. “We will shortly present a Bentley with a vegan interior; it’ll give you a luxury sensation but with a different way – protein leather, mushroom leather, jellyfish material.”
With eco-conscious but well-heeled customers flocking to brands like Tesla, it is understandable that Bentley would want to improve its standing in this department. This could also be improved with the rumoured electric Bentley that could be on its way. The design team are currently working through this exciting new challenge but an exact debut date for the finished product is unknown at this stage. With a new Continental GT on the way, this could be a prime palate to showcase the animal-friendly interior.