Bamboo, protein leather, mushroom leather, jellyfish material... what's next?
Bentley is working hard to produce more eco-friendly cars. And it doesn’t just mean hybrid powertrains: although PHEVs are part of the brand’s future plans, Bentley is also now using more sustainable trims and materials as an alternative to traditional materials.
Bentley’s Director of Design Stefan Sielaff, speaking at the Financial Times Future of the Car Summit, revealed the marque is actively exploring different vegan-friendly options for upholsteries and trims.
“You can’t sell an animal-containing product like a Bentley, with 20 leather hides, to someone with a vegan lifestyle,” Sielaff is quoted by AutoExpress. “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.”
While there are no specific details regarding the estimated date of arrival for the new vegan-friendly interior, apparently, the company is already researching the topic and the design team is exploring different materials.
“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. This is something the design and colour and trim guys are interrogating.”
Another interesting idea for interior materials should soon become reality from Ford. The company is considering using bamboo, in combination with plastic, for some interior surfaces – partly because it's actually stronger than wood, brick, or concrete. Bamboo is a natural product, which is cheap to produce, as it grows to full maturity in around two to five years.
Late last year, former front man of The Smiths and longtime animal rights activist Morrissey sent an open letter to General Motors CEO Marry Bara to ask the company to offer vegan interior materials for the Chevrolet Bolt and Volt. He pointed out that since the two cars are being marketed to eco-conscious buyers, “entirely vegan options would only broaden their appeal.”
Note: 2017 Bentley Bentayga Diesel pictured in the gallery.