This is the brand’s seventh exclusive veneer and the first added in five years. Wooden veneers may be quite a common occurrence in cars, but few manufacturers go to the extraordinary lengths that Bentley does to source the finest trees in the world.
This latest veneer comes from the American Red Gum, found in the moist soils of the Mississippi wetlands. The tree’s resin is called Liquid Amber, hence the name.
Bentley only has access to the wetlands twice a year to harvest the wood. Once it’s been harvested, the wood undergoes a natural smoking process to give it a rich brown look.
Next, the brand’s experts transport it to the Bentley woodshop in Crewe, where it is closely examined. Between 30 and 70 per cent of all Liquid Amber veneer to arrive in the UK is rejected by the automaker. Only the highest-quality veneer will be accepted, with high-burr density, minimal sapwood, and a total lack of bark growth or structural defects.
The process ends with each veneer cut into a 0.6 mm layer. Then, 18 months of tests for stability in UV light and consistency from tree to tree are undertaken before the wooden trim finds its way into a Bentley.