Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Bentley introduces relaxation-focused Azure line of cars

A new line of Bentleys is coming, and it’s called the “Azure” line. No, it’s not the reintroduction of the old Azure droptop. Similar to “Speed” or “Mulliner,” all Bentley Azure models have a focus, and this time it’s comfort and relaxation. Bentley is planning on offering Azure versions of all of its cars, including Bentayga, Bentayga EWB, Flying Spur, Continental GT and Continental GT Convertible.

What an Azure model amounts to is a specific set of equipment designed to enhance long journeys, or to make any kind of journey more relaxing. That being the case, every Azure is equipped with the “Front Seat Comfort Specification” that adds 22-way adjustable seats that are heated, cooled, offer six massage programs and adjustable side bolsters. The seats also use Bentley’s “comfort headrests.”

To enhance the ride comfort, Bentley specs all Azures with its 48-volt active anti-roll system that can decouple the roll bars to provide an extra-smooth ride. We’ve found that this system can enhance handling performance in Bentleys with it, too.

You might expect it to be standard in Bentleys, but all Azure models tack on the optional Touring Specification that adds a number of driver assistance features. These include adaptive cruise control, lane-following, a traffic-jam assist feature and “Bentley Safeguard” (automatic emergency braking, emergency lane-change assist and more). Basically, the car is stacked with all of the driver assistance systems in an effort to make road trips better.

Bentley’s wellness crusade does not end with tech features, though.

“To create the Azure range, we consulted with neuroscientists to understand the interrelationship of color, texture, tactility and even scent to create an atmosphere of relaxed serenity,” says Maria Mulder, Head of Color & Trim at Bentley. “When we see pleasing forms, shapes and colors our brains release chemicals such as dopamine that not only make us feel good but are good for our body and sense of wellbeing. Sensory receptors convert physical stimuli in neural activity, creating changes in our brain and nervous system. Every fabric, sound, motion, color and touch continuously impacts our nervous system and the Azure cabin has been finessed accordingly.”

All Azure models get “wellness quilting” that is meant to be particularly pleasing to the eye and encourage touch. Three open pore wood options are made available — Dark Walnut, Crown-Cut Walnut and Koa — and they’re all meant to give occupants a sense of calm. To show that you have an Azure model, Bentley adds sill plates with “Azure” on them. You’ll also get “Azure” embroidered into the seats and Azure badging on the exterior.

Bentley designed unique 22-inch wheels for Azure models, and all of them will feature chrome front grilles. Pricing and availability wasn’t detailed in Bentley’s Azure announcement, but expect them all to cost a good bit more than any “base” model Bentley.

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