Crewe, Cheshire - Bentley's bespoke coach-building division, Mulliner, has taken the art of veneering to a whole new level.

You can now have the interior of your custom Continental set in stone - literally.

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The base product may be 200 million years old but it takes state-of-the-art technology to bring it to a dashboard near you.

The slate and quartzite stone is sourced from quarries in Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh, India; the rough slabs are then split - not cut - into very thin slices and bonded onto glass fibre matting using a specially formulated resin.

After shaping and hand-finishing in the Mulliner workshop, the stone surfaces are just 0.1mm thick - about the thickness of a human hair - which makes the panels not only very light but also translucent, bringing out the natural grain and crystalline pattern of the stone.

Bentley can now provide stone veneers in a natural finish, in four different colours: a dark blue-grey called Galaxy, off-white, red and copper. As with all bespoke trim offered by luxury carmakers, nothing so crass as price is mentioned.

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