Crewe, May 6, 2020 The digital instrument cluster located in front of the driver’s seat in the new Continental GT and new Flying Spur contains unique design details. The digital dial is decorated with a three-dimensional metal knurling texture, and there are subtle shadow effects under the pointer. These details are realized by active matrix thin film transistors (Thin Film Transistor), whose thickness is accurate to the millimeter level. The component was created by Bentley’s Human Machine Interface team, led by Head Graeme Smith, who create the infotainment system for Bentley cars.
Cutting edge technology meets classic design
Throughout the history of the brand, Bentley has always used ingenious and exquisite design in its instrument design. For example, the dashboard of the Bentley Blower model built in 1929 is equipped with a lap recorder made of brass. Its design is inspired by the traditional billiard integrator. Developed with the participation of Sir Tim Birkin. In addition, the Continental Type R built in 1952 has a walnut dashboard with analog dials, which is full of elegance. Bentley motors combine exquisite craftsmanship with British aesthetics to achieve extraordinary works.
Today, digital technology is central to Bentley’s interior design, allowing Bentley customers to use smart mobile devices, view 3D digital maps, play music, play movies for passengers, and control cabin settings.
Integrating a flat glass display with handcrafted wood veneer and knurled metal components was no easy feat. The Bentley Human-Machine Interaction Team led by Graeme Smith is constantly seeking technological innovation and turning innovative design into reality.
Interpreting Bentley’s design heritage with “skeuomorphic” design
The human-computer interaction team of Bentley Motors joined hands with the vehicle styling design team to create dashboards for new models with appealing icons, colors and images, and decided to use a three-dimensional skeuomorphic design to vividly restore the classic interior design elements of Bentley Motors.
Graeme Smith explained: “Different from the design of smart electronic products, in the process of designing vehicles, we need to fully consider the impact of age changes on car design. Therefore, we choose to use “skeuomorphic” design to restore the timeless classic interior Decorative design, so that the dashboard can withstand the test of time like a vehicle.”
Stefan Sielaff, Director of Bentley Motors Design, said: “In order to inherit the classic design and pure DNA of Bentley Motors, we did not fully adopt digital graphic design, but used digital “skeuomorphic” design to restore the traditional dial and pointer design. ”
Night mode creates an extraordinary cockpit atmosphere
One of Bentley’s latest digital innovations is Night Mode on the instrument cluster, which helps the driver avoid any visual distractions from the navigation and infotainment systems when needed. Just like the center console “Bentley’s three-sided flip center control panel” is equipped with a simple wood veneer panel, the simple instrument panel can also bring pure driving and sensory experience to the driver and passengers. When in night mode, the driver’s dashboard displays information such as fuel gauge, engine temperature, time, current vehicle speed, and outdoor temperature. The speedometer and engine tachometer are not fully lit, and only soft light remains at the pointer. This mode further enhances the night driving experience.
New Flying Spur Exclusive Details
The new Continental GT and the new Flying Spur share a similar instrument cluster, but with exclusive design details. Bentley Motors Human-Computer Interaction team worked with Bentley designers Brett Boydell and David Leary to create a copper-coloured outer ring design for the speedometer and tachometer of the new Flying Spur. Brett Boydell said: “This design concept not only realizes the integration of physical and digital interior components, but also interprets the exquisite style of the new Flying Spur. At the same time, it also presents the excellent performance strength of an ultra-luxury four-door sedan through sophisticated instrumentation. ”
In addition, the digital instrument panel of the new Continental GT is decorated with a three-dimensional knurling texture, which is in line with the metal texture on the gear lever. The new Flying Spur’s digital instruments vividly reproduce the effect of the metal outer ring as if it were machined. The design styles of the two instrument panels are organically integrated with the cockpit interior. Compared with the new Continental GT which focuses on creating an extraordinary sporty style, the new Flying Spur aims to present a sense of dignity and exclusivity.
Logical and rigorous system language
The human-computer interaction team of Bentley Automobiles relies on rigorous logic and excellent professional skills to meet customers’ highest expectations for ultra-luxury cars. The new Flying Spur’s center console display has about 600 icons and more than 1,500 menu interfaces, and supports 27 languages including Chinese, English, Russian, and Arabic, as well as multiple text reading methods. In addition, the new Flying Spur has three sets of audio systems for customers to choose from, namely: Bentley standard audio system, Bang & Olufsen audio system, and Naim audio system. Different audio systems use different exclusive operation interfaces. It is realized by 1 graphic designer and 9 functional designers, and each functional designer is responsible for a specific infotainment interface design.
Continuous innovation in classic inheritance
In the context of the rapid development of digital technology, Bentley Motors has always explored new possibilities for inheritance and innovation. The “Bentley three-sided flip central control panel” equipped with the new Flying Spur is one of the examples. Customers can freely switch between the digital interface, analog dial and traditional wood veneer.
Graeme Smith said: “The Bentley brand is committed to achieving an excellent driving experience. The Bentley Motors Human-Machine Interaction Team inherits the brand’s design philosophy and is committed to innovation, and is committed to creating an extraordinary car with a pure brand style.