The “executive interior concept” for the ultra-luxury vehicle automaker’s flagship sedan, unveiled at the recent Frankfurt motor show, will be put into production as an option as soon as Bentley completes testing the system.
It will feature a roof-mounted 16-inch LED central video screen and two electric fold-out tables in the seat backs that each house an Apple iPad with their own Bluetooth-connected keyboards. The Mulsanne
already comes with two DVD screens in the rear of the front-seat headrests that also can be incorporated into the system, creating a network of up to five separate screens.
The Mulsanne will have its own wireless hotspot, and each component is connected to an Apple Mini Mac hub in the trunk, which can be controlled by an iPhone, iPod or either of the iPads. The mobile office also can include a mini-fridge between the rear seats.
"I spend a lot of time in the back of cars and I usually need to spend every minute getting myself up to speed for my next meeting,” said Bentley CEO Wolfgang Durheimer. “This is why we think [the mobile office] will be very popular with some of our customers.”
Bentley is determined that its customers won't suffer from the time lag that is often associated with slow product development cycles, so the system will not be wired into the car's sophisticated electronics. Rather, it will stand alone as an external yet integrated device that can be fully reprogrammed at any time to embrace developments in technology.
“We went with Apple because we think it works well for us as a multimedia entertainment system,” said Bentley platform manager Marcus Abbott. “There's no reason why we couldn't do a PC-based version down the track.”
Durheimer estimates the entire system — including all the Apple gear, the fridge, mood lighting and a special pen — will set customers back around 100,000 euros ($138,000).
However, customers will be able to pick and choose various components to suit their own needs and budgets. Bentley is also considering stretching the Mulsanne
series to add a long-wheelbase model.
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald
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