Bentley has unveiled a striking interior design concept at a small event in London, giving a glimpse of what its cabins may look like in the far advanced future of 2036.
‘The Future of Luxury’ depicts an interior set out like a lounge, rather than a car, with a standout feature being the complete absence of the vehicle’s traditional driver environment.
Two sofa-like seats are positioned opposite each other, separated by a coffee table in the middle, and surrounded by the usual wood and leather highlights that are synonymous with Bentley interiors.
Bentley’s design incorporates autonomous driving technology, 3D-printed components, and even a holographic butler that tends to the needs of passengers.
Director of design at Bentley, Stefan Sielaff – who led the 50-strong design team to create the concept – told British website Autocar that The Future of Luxury hints at “how the luxury experience has to develop in the future”.
“With this image we are talking about the luxury atmosphere in our cars,” he said.
“You could imagine that this is the interior of an autonomous Bentley, even though many of our customers already do not drive themselves, because they have chauffeurs.”
He added that the holographic butler is “not just a machine”, but rather it is “somebody you can actually talk to”. Sielaff sees this as a key component “of luxury and design in the future.”
Sielaff also hinted at some design aspects that are closer to production reality, such as greater use of 3D-printed components
“3D printing is fascinating for (us) because it overcomes problems of production,” he said.
“You can create detailed, complex components that in the past we would be able to make via milling or casting,” “for example, integrating the 3D image of a Union flag into a door hinge.”
He added that the company is looking into alternative, natural cabin materials such as protein leather upholstery to cater for trends such as the vegan lifestyle.
“This is definitely coming into the luxury car segment at the moment,” Sielaff said.
“These customers are not interested in leather upholstery in cars anymore because their lifestyle almost forbids them to use material taken from animals.”
While Bentley’s interior concept is at least 20 years away, it will be interesting to see if 3D-printed components, alternative leather and textiles are used for upcoming models in the near future.