Bentley Details Mulsanne Paint Process

When it will arrive at Bentley dealerships next summer, the Mulsanne will be offered in no fewer than 115 ‘standard colours. However, the british luxury carmaker says, the only real limit on the colour of the car is the customer’s imagination. To prove the high standards of craftmanship involved, Bentley recently released details of the 86-hour process used to create the palette available for its new flagship.

"It takes many months of in-depth training for a quality control inspector to learn how to identify defects that an owner might never notice, yet each one will be rectified, even if this means sending it around the entire process again. We always operate way above customer expectations of quality,” explains Dave Walton of the Mulsanne paint shop.

Once the bare metal, pre-production Mulsanne bodyshell arrives at the paint shop via the automated overhead gantry, it passes through a series of full-immersion tanks, designed first to
de-grease, then in turn to clean, condition, rinse, phosphate and passivate the steel and aluminum structure.

A two-coat primer is applied by hand and only when it is flawless will the colour basecoat be applied, again by hand, to achieve the optimum finish. Clear lacquer coats are then applied robotically followed by final polishing.

“We’ve been asked to match a paint finish to a cherished nail polish, a 50-year old classic Bentley and on one occasion a shade of turquoise on a food mixer for our Arnage, Brooklands and Azure customers. But even with over a hundred ‘standard colours’ to choose from we’re still looking forward to that first commission to create a bespoke colour from scratch and execute it perfectly,” added Walton.
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