The evolution of brands embracing luxury, elegance, and craftsmanship has undergone a strong transformation and evolution that has affected the world of yachting and the automotive industry in particular
by Paolo Bonaveri
We have not seen a major transformation in this industry since the ’80s, with advancing technology, new ways of making cars, and a look towards a more sustainable future with new forms of travel. But in the world of luxury, this is not enough – it takes more. The most iconic brands know this well, as they not only pay tribute to automotive beauty and refined technology but also look beyond.
This was the case of Bentley with the Beyond 100, introduced to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the brand founded by Walter Owen Bentley. Mr. Bentley created the company to build fast cars that were at the very top of their class, but, without realising it, he also created a B-factor that links Bentley to several adjectives today: Beautiful, Big, Bold, Brave, Bright. Bentley has chosen to go beyond the car and dive into lifestyle, the style of a life that is still capable of triggering strong emotions with cars. We know Bentley’s cars very well, from the iconic Continental GT, the car that revolutionised the concept of the fast GT; the Flying Spur, the sedan that ennobled traveling with comfort, performance, four-wheel drive, and four-wheel steering; the Bentayga that declined the luxury of the SUV segment, but perhaps we are less familiar with certain aspects of excellence that distinguish the world of Bentley, inside and outside the car.
The B-factor comes from Crewe, Bentley’s headquarters because this is where the strategy of the luxury car brand is being designed. The company continues to make great strides in reducing its environmental impact with continuous investments also in water-saving technologies. In 2021, the plant’s CO2 emissions decreased by more than 70% compared to 2020 figures, thanks to the introduction of green gas and biofuel plants for on-site logistics. During the same period, energy consumption per vehicle was reduced by more than 17%.
The plant has exceeded its initial target to reduce its production-related environmental impact by 75% over 15 years, from 2010 to 2025. Bentley has allocated an investment of £2.5 billion for the further transformation of the Dream Factory, where future Bentley BEVs will be built. Furthermore, it obtained the Net Zero Plastic to Nature certification after completing a plastic management assessment focusing on logistics and packaging. And we could go on, with photovoltaic panels, the reduction of paper use in offices, or eco-leather and sustainable premium materials, which are used for the refined and exclusive interiors of the cars.
BENTLEY HOME OFFERS BENTLEY THEMES AND STYLISTIC TRAITS
IN A HOME OR GARDEN FURNITURE WITH ITS TWO COLLECTIONS DESIGNED BY B AND PRODUCED IN ITALY.
The company’s suppliers are also making efforts in the field of innovation, such as Mulliner the oldest coachbuilder, which used to build carriages in the 1760s and then dressed some of the most beautiful cars by the English brand. Today, Mulliner is a benchmark in terms of innovation, luxury, elegance, and tailor-made craftsmanship, creating customised cars for Bentley customers. It created the two-seater Bacalar, and presented the Batur limited series, the most powerful Bentley ever, with a version of the iconic 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged hand-assembled W12 engine, providing more than 740 hp. But, as mentioned, the B-factor goes beyond the car, it penetrates lifestyle, and the social fabric, with the diversity and inclusion plan that will be implemented in five stages in Bentley’s Beyond 100 strategy and will focus on awareness, recruitment, turnover planning, culture, and development, in addition to partnerships with companies that share the company’s values.
For example, Bentley’s collaboration with Macallan, producer of one of the world’s most prestigious single malts, gave rise to the Horizon project, where sustainable materials were used for the packaging for the first time, creating a unique design bottle that challenges the traditional vertical aesthetic of a whisky bottle and reflects the horizontal line of a car. The recycled materials were provided by both brands, such as copper from discarded stills, aluminium recovered from the production of the Continental GT, Flying Spur, and Bentayga.
Bentley’s collaboration with Macallan led to the creation of the Horizon project, where for the first time sustainable materials were used for the packaging to create a unique design bottle that reflects the horizontal line of a car.
Bentley Home è invece un ritrovare temi e stilemi di Bentley nei mobili di casa o in giardino, due collezioni firmate B e realizzate in Italia. In quest’ottica, Luxury Living Group lavora a quattro mani con i designer di Crewe per creare elementi di arredo unici. Questi elementi di arredo sono visibili nello show room di Milano, ma li ritroveremo anche a Miami, quando nel 2026 verrà inaugurata la Bentley residences.
(The B-“Like Bentley” Factor – Barchemagazine.com – November 2022)