Bentley Design Chief Wants To Do More One-Offs

Bentley has named its chief designer Stefan Sielaff in charge as well of the Mulliner division. That’s all well and fine, but what intrigues us is what Sielaff has in mind for the customization department.

“The possibilities with Mulliner are essentially endless – there is nothing our skilled coachbuilders cannot achieve,” said Sielaff. “I want to explore more one-off, bespoke vehicles where the only limitation is the imagination of the customer. Design and personal commissioning will go hand-in-hand and when that is the case, extraordinary things happen.”

Though automakers like Ferrari, McLaren, and Rolls-Royce have in recent years created entirely unique vehicles for their most demanding clients, Bentley by and large has not. It collaborated with Zagato on the limited-edition Continental GTZ, but that was nearly a decade ago.

Meanwhile arch-rival (and former sister brand) Rolls-Royce presented the completely unique Sweptail coupe at Villa d’Este earlier this summer. Meanwhile Bentley’s own sister company Lamborghini has done more small-volume models like the Veneno, Sesto Elemento, and Centenario, and even sold the one-of-a-kind Aventador J speedster concept to a private individual. That level of exclusivity comes at a cost, but as long as the customer is willing to pay, Mulliner’s new boss evidently thinks Bentley should be eager to oblige.

Sielaff has been with Bentley for two years now, having moved over from parent company Volkswagen, where he ran the design center in Potsdam (outside Berlin). “Exquisite styling and the ability to bring our customers’ visions to life has always made Bentley unique,” said Bentley chairman Wolfgang Dürheimer. “Now, with Stefan Sielaff leading both teams, I am certain Mulliner will benefit strongly from his design leadership.”

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