Designing a car is very much like designing a building — craftsmanship is the through line for Bentley and Yip Yuen Hong.
For more than a century, the Bentley has been synonymous with pure luxury. Many in the world aspire to own one of its vehicles because the quality and prestige it confers are second to none. And because of its lofty position in the market, very few car makers in the world can proclaim that it is of the same status as Bentley.
Without a doubt, cars from Bentleys are built with exceptional comfort, top-notch performance and grandeur in mind. Every car out of its manufacture in Crewe, North-West England, involves the human touch. This is what sets luxury apart from its commercialised counterparts. At the core of the company, it is about providing unrivalled craftsmanship and performance to its customers. To achieve this standard of excellence, thousands of highly skilled craftspeople are involved in every aspect of crafting each car.
Craftsmanship is an important aspect of design and it transcends boundaries to include an array of industries. In architecture, the construction and design of a project are paramount but equally important is the intent that goes behind the creative process.
A well-designed building is one that checks all the requirements in the brief given but also takes into consideration the intangible aspects. This is where the human factor comes into play — “humanising” buildings such that they are desirable to live in.
No one understands this quite like award-winning architect Yip Yuen Hong. A four-time recipient of the prestigious President’s Design Award, the designer fully understands what good design is. The ability to personalise an experience is the pinnacle of luxury, and this quality is a common trait between Bentley and Yip.
The physical manifestation of this commonality is the Bentley Bentayga V8. This luxurious SUV is the embodiment of what craftsmanship is to the British marque and Yip, and it excels in three distinct areas: performance, comfort and luxury.
Powering the Bentayga is its twin-turbocharged V8 engine that is capable of reaching 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.5 seconds. Bentley’s characteristics of phenomenal torque at low engine speeds and ample reserves of power are spectacular, it can reach a maximum of 770 Nm at an engine speed of under 2,000 rpm.
The exterior of the Bentayga presents a muscular, broad-shouldered look. When viewed from the front, the SUV exudes an air of stateliness thanks to the wide grille flanked by the cut crystal headlights. And four 21-inch five twin-spoke wheels ensure a smooth and luxurious ride.
Moving into the interior of the Bentayga, this is where craftsmanship is exhibited to the fullest. One of the most striking features of a Bentley interior is the ring of veneer that encircles the cabin. Utilising what is known as mirror-matching, the talented craftsmen at Bentley use sheets of veneer taken from the same section of a single tree to create a continuous grain pattern that rings the driver and passengers.
Meanwhile, the upholstery of the cabin uses approximately 15 leather hides, all hand-picked from herds that graze high above sea level in Northern Europe. Bentley takes pride in not using any plastic leather substitutes in its cars.
The supple leather hides are given an added flair through the various weave patterns. The styles include decorative contrast stitching, hand cross-stitching and embroidery. Owners can even take things up a notch, opting for micro piping instead of conventional piping. The detailing work here epitomise Bentley’s commitment to exquisite craftsmanship and these are all done by hand. It is only through the masterly skills of the craftsmen in Crewe that the stringent requirements of Bentley can be met.
To be able to personalise a Bentley car is part of the customer experience at the British brand. Each owner’s needs are unique and the Bentayga can be commissioned to match those precise requirements. The team will provide recommendations for any modifications and make the car truly theirs.
Yip is familiar with this ethos. His completed projects such as Martin Modern and at 44 Kasai Road are representative of the architect’s vision of craftsmanship. The latter even won the Building of the Year at the Singapore Institute of Architects’ Architectural Design Awards in 2019.
“To create good architecture, you have to understand human nature and how people use space. In the end it is really just for people, so I want to create well-crafted places and houses that are built to last,” says Yip.
Ultimately, to both Bentley and Yip, craftsmanship is the creation of long-lasting products that are not flamboyant and outlandish — it is about understated luxury that requires no introduction.
For more information about the Bentley Bentayga, click here.