Curated selection of features designed for ‘wellbeing behind the wheel’
Luxury motoring will enter a new era of wellbeing in the Kingdom with the release of Bentley’s innovative Azure range which will provide Bentley customers with a curated selection of features designed to enhance the wellbeing and comfort of the vehicle’s occupants, making every journey a relaxing stress-free experience regardless of distance.
Effortless performance and comfort over long distances have long been hallmarks of Bentley, but with the new Azure, the makers of the world’s most sought-after luxury cars have drawn on the latest science-informed design to create a vehicle that can traverse long distances swiftly and smoothly, leaving driver and passengers to alight at journey’s end feeling refreshed, alert, and ready to resume their busy lives.
Azure is more than a specification; it includes tactile and visual cues designed to reduce stress and promote wellbeing, along with driver assistance technologies for smoother, safer journeys. Every Bentley combines relaxation with exhilaration; the Azure range provide those customers who prioritise the former with a selection of enhancements, developed with the help of wellbeing experts and neuroscientists, designed to promote comfort and wellbeing.
The new range will be a permanent offering across the full Bentley model line-up, including Bentayga, Bentayga EWB, Flying Spur, Continental GT, and Continental GT Convertible, and is an enticing new offering to drivers in the Kingdom seeking the ultimate motoring experience.
Peter Smith, General Manager, Bentley Saudi Arabia, comments: “The Azure, like our other exclusive badges, Speed and Mulliner, offers our customers clarity during the enjoyable process of choosing their ideal Bentleys. We know from the scientific research undertaken by our specialists that increased agency comes through choice, and we have taken a holistic approach to wellbeing behind the wheel, uniting technology, design, and craftsmanship to deliver driver and passengers to their destination more relaxed than when they set off.”
Seating is the foundation for driving comfort and control, and all Bentley Azures feature the Front Seat Comfort Specification. With up to 22-way adjustable seats, passengers of all heights and weights can find their ideal seating position while the heating and ventilation function helps to maintain the body’s optimum temperature for comfort and alertness. When we slump, our bodies can take up to 30 per cent less oxygen, reducing our ability to think and placing additional stress on the body. Azure features a massage function with six programmable settings, which promotes the micro-adjustments in muscle and posture that are so vital in preventing fatigue.
Stress plays an increasing part in our lives. According to a recent Global Workplace report, daily stress reached a record high in 2021 and this has serious repercussions for road safety. Another report, co-sponsored by Brake and Direct Line, found that 71 per cent of drivers surveyed had lost concentration on the road within the last 12 months as a result of stress or annoyance. To analyse and develop Bentley’s new wellbeing concepts, the Azure development team engaged creative neuroscientist Katherine Templar-Lewis, from Kinda Studios, whose wide-ranging research on the external factors that influence stress was key in defining the ‘wellbeing behind the wheel’ concept that the Azure feature suite embodies. Katherine’s findings inspired Bentley’s team to adopt a Science-Informed Design, considering everything from light to the patterns we see around us, to the impact of in-car posture and the importance of thermal comfort. Her research, paired with Bentley’s own measurements to give science-based analysis to the relaxing experience of travelling in a Bentley, as a driver or a passenger.
Careful interplay of Colour, Texture and Tactility
According to Maria Mulder, Head of Colour & Trim at Bentley Motors: “Every fabric, sound, motion, colour and touch continuously impacts our nervous system, and the Azure cabin has been finessed accordingly.” To that end, the Azure interior design specification includes ‘wellness quilting’; the fractal patterns of precisely crafted diamond quilted upholstery to create an eye-pleasing interplay of light and shade. While Bentley customers will always have access to the full range of wood veneers, the Azure offers a choice of three open pore veneers; Dark Walnut, Crown-Cut Walnut and Koa, who’s softer, satin, reflective quality evokes a mood of calm.
All Azure models will display ‘Azure’ badging on the exterior, treadplates, fascia and seat embroidery. Other design constants for Azure include bright chrome lower bumper grilles, unique 22” ten-spoke wheels, wellness quilted seats and finishing touches such as the Bentley ‘jewel’ filler cap. The overall effect is elegant, visually pleasing, and timeless. The Flying Spur Azure also features a glass-to-glass panoramic sunroof. This breath-taking feature fills the cabin with natural light, while the front panel tilts and slides over the fixed rear to let in fresh air.
An Enduring Quest for Refinement
Bentley is remarkable among automotive brands in that it has always spanned the extremes of performance and refinement. Even in the company’s early days, when the Bentley Boys were racing and winning at Brooklands and Le Mans in their thunderous racing green machines, founder W.O. Bentley was obsessive in his pursuit of smoothness and refinement. “I have put up with a lot of noise in my time, but I don’t like it,” he wrote in his autobiography, adding, “To me 70 mph in silence is far more creditable than a noisy 80 mph.” Today’s Bentley’s Azures are quieter at 150 km per hour than anything W.O. Bentley would have experienced at 70 mph.
Bentley customers live life to the full, but the demands of today’s ‘always on’ world can engender a sense of stress and mental fatigue - daily stress reached a record high in 2021 of 43 per cent, according to the Global Workplace 2021 Report. A Bentley Azure provides a haven of calm, both sonically, visually, and emotionally. With Seat Auto Climate, a passenger selects their desired temperature setpoint from six different levels. The contact temperature and surface humidity are then directly measured – cushion and backrest independently – and the heating and ventilation are adjusted to achieve the optimal temperature.
Bentley is a British carmaker that produces some of the world’s most luxurious and sought-after luxury cars and SUVs. A subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group since 1998 and headquartered in Crewe, England, the company was founded as Bentley Motors Limited by W. O. Bentley in 1919 in Cricklewood, North London, and became widely known for the “Bentley Boys” who won the 24-Hour Race in Le Mans in 1924, 1927, 1928, 1929 and 1930.
Prominent models extend from the historic sports-racing Bentley 4½ Litre and Bentley Speed Six to the more recent Bentley R Type Continental, Bentley Turbo R, and Bentley Arnage, to its current model line, including the Flying Spur, Continental GT, Bentayga and the Mulsanne—which are marketed and admired across the world.
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