WELLBEING BEHIND THE WHEEL – THE NEW AZURE RANGE
Prioritising comfort and wellbeing across all five Bentley model lines..
Effortless performance and comfort over long distances have long been hallmarks of Bentley, which is now building on this reputation with a new family available across all five model lines. The new Azure range will provide Bentley customers with a curated selection of features designed to enhance the wellbeing and comfort of the vehicle’s occupants, making every journey a relaxing experience regardless of distance.
The new range will be a permanent offering across the full Bentley model line-up, including Bentayga, Bentayga EWB, Flying Spur, Continental GT and Continental GT Convertible. Azure is more than a specification; it includes tactile and visual cues designed to reduce stress and promote wellbeing, along with driver assistance technologies for smoother, safer journeys. Where the Bentley Speed family takes the ultimate in performance as its prime focus, a Bentleyazure will accentuate the other facet of a Bentley’s character; the ability to traverse long distances swiftly and smoothly, leaving driver and passengers to alight at journey’s end feeling refreshed, alert and ready to resume their busy lives.
With Mulliner representing the pinnacle of both luxury and performance, the azure and Speed badges represent subtly different interpretations of the Bentley driving experience. Every Bentley combines relaxation with exhilaration; the Azure range provide those customers who prioritise the former with a carefully curated selection of features designed to promote comfort and wellbeing.
Safety, Serenity and Relaxation
Seating is the foundation for driving comfort and control, and all Bentley Azures feature the Front Seat Comfort Specification. With up to 22-way adjustable seats, passengers of all heights and weights, from the 95th percentile male to the 5th percentile female, can find their ideal seating position while the heating and ventilation function helps to maintain the body’s optimum temperature for comfort and alertness.
When we slump, our bodies can take up to 30 per cent less oxygen, reducing our ability to think and placing additional stress on the body. Azure features a massage function with six programmable settings promotes the constant micro-adjustments in muscle and posture that are so vital in preventing fatigue. Adjustable side bolsters, electric seatbelt adjustment and comfort headrests complete the Front Seat Comfort specification.
Another key element of the Azure range specification is Bentley Dynamic Ride, Bentley’s 48V active anti-roll control system that enhances ride comfort and limits roll for smoother, more relaxing journeys. The system cushions driver and passengers from excessive movement by electronically decoupling the anti-roll bars when appropriate to smooth the ride, then applying up to 1300 Nm of anti-roll torque in 0.3 seconds when cornering to keep the body flat and stable.
All Azure models feature the Touring Specification of driver assistance systems, imbuing the driver with a sense of confidence and relaxed control whatever the traffic or weather conditions. Adaptive Cruise Control* maintains a set distance from the vehicle in front, slowing down (to a halt if necessary) when the vehicle in front does so and resuming the set speed once the lane is clear. Together with Lane Assist*, Traffic Assist* and Bentley Safeguard, the Bentley’s suite of onboard radar and camera systems constantly monitor the surrounding traffic and roads and can intervene if necessary to prevent or avoid an accident.
The relaxing and re-energising environment of the Azure cabin, that reduces driver fatigue, through its multisensory and science-informed design, can only help to enhance the safety of the car. Studies have shown that in 20 per cent of all road collisions, tiredness has played a role.
The driver’s sense of relaxed control is further enhanced by the Head-up Display, providing directions and navigation directly in the line of sight, and by Night Vision, which uses infra-red cameras to identify pedestrians, cyclists and fauna outside the beam of the LED headlights.
Elegant and Distinctive Design
Azure variants will be offered across the full Bentley model line-up, including Bentayga, Bentayga EWB, Flying Spur, Continental GT and Continental GT Convertible. All models will display ‘Azure’ badging on the exterior, treadplates, fascia and seat embroidery.
Other design constants for Azure include bright chrome lower bumper grilles, unique 22” ten-spoke wheels, wellness quilted seats and finishing touches such as the Bentley ‘jewel’ filler cap. The overall effect is elegant, visually pleasing and timeless.
The Flying Spur Azure also features a glass-to-glass panoramic sunroof as part of the specification. The feature fills the cabin with natural light, while the front panel tilts and slides over the fixed rear to let fresh air in. Electric Alcantara blinds, color matched to the interior, provide shade when preferred, in the soft and tactile material that is an alternative to leather. A fixed panoramic glass sunroof is included in the Continental GT Azure specificaiton.
Comfort and Wellness
Bentley customers live life to the full, but the demands of today’s ‘always on’ world can engender a sense of stress and mental fatigue - daily stress reached a record high in 2021, according to the Global Workplace 2021 Report of 43 per cent. A Bentley Azure provides a haven of calm, both sonically, visually and emotionally, providing the opportunity to recharge one’s mental batteries.
The new Bentayga Extended Wheelbase is the pinnacle model in the Azure range, building even further on the Azure offering with the addition of the most advanced seat ever fitted to the car – Bentley’s Airline Seat Specification. Available in the rear cabin for the four-seat and 4+1 layouts, the seat includes 22-ways of adjustment and world-firsts in a new auto climate sensing system and postural adjustment technology.
In Relax mode, the seat can recline to 40 degrees, whilst the passenger seat is motored forwards and a beautifully leather-trimmed footrest deploys from the back of the front passenger seat. In Business Mode, the seat moves into its most upright position to make working on the move more comfortable.
With Seat Auto Climate, a passenger selects their desired temperature setpoint from six different levels. The contact temperature and surface humidity are then directly measured – cushion and backrest independently – and the heating and ventilation are adjusted to achieve the required temperature. This is continuously monitored to ensure it remains constant as optimised body temperature is vital when the focus is on individual wellbeing. In studies that have manipulated body temperature via external means, it has generally been reported that cognitive function is reduced by decreasing body temperature below normal. A comfortable thermal environment can also alleviate fatigue, reduce irritability, and improve driving safety [Szczurek & Maciejewska 2016].
The Postural Adjustment function uses new thigh and shoulder pockets, plus additional lumbar massage pockets, to subtly yet continuously change the shape of the seat to ease pressure points around the body, preventing dead spots and fatigue build up. There are three different programmes available, ‘All areas of the seat’, ‘Twist’ and ‘Backrest only’. The use of air pockets enables more continuous and complex movements to be made – which are virtually imperceptible to the passenger – rather than the linear movements resulting from the use of seat motors. The system goes beyond the 2D motions typical of adjustable seats, able to employ a three-dimensional twist to relieve pressure points. Six independent pressure zones can provide 177 adjustments every three hours to ensure that seat comfort is never compromised, regardless of the length of the journey. Studies have shown that actively supporting body weight in a dynamic way relieves strain, which can prime mental stress and create lack of focus. Natural supported postures have been shown to alleviate stress from tensed muscles.