As a reviewer, I never hesitate to take manufacturers to task when they install “Grandma’s Dresser” style wood veneer trim in cars. Glossy, grainy wood just seems like an anachronism to this child of the ‘70s car enthusiast. Automakers have recently shifted to wood trim with a matte finish and rough grain, but the fact remains that building cars from trees is done strictly for aesthetics. Heck, automakers might as well make cars from stone. In fact, that is exactly what one supplier to Bentley plans to do.
Automakers are spending Zillions of dollars trying to engineer lightness into cars. In contrast, Mulliner of Pradesh, India, is planning to offer wood veneer trim in Bentley cars starting this year. It has been a while since I drank my way through a mechanical engineering degree, but if my well-seasoned brain is correct, stone is heavy. Although any veneer made thin enough is light in weight. Indeed, Mulliner claims that “The stone surfaces of the veneers are just 0.1 mm thick, meaning that they are both extremely light and translucent, allowing the elegant grain and pattern in the stone to be visible to the interior occupants.”
The first application of the new trim will be on the Continental and Flying Spur. Colors offered are called Galaxy, Autumn White, Terra Red and Copper. These new stone veneers may well be the next chapter in fine automobile styling.