For those who prefer to satisfy the competitive itch of falconry in style and luxury

In its long and storied history, falconry has evolved from being an integral hunting method to an actual sport among the affluent. The practice itself dates back thousands of years and it’s still very much alive today. In a lot of ways, the sport of falconry and British luxury automaker Bentley fall into the same social and economic spheres populated by the elite. So, it wasn’t a shock when Bentley’s Mulliner personalization division turned to falconry for its next creation. This here then is the Bentley Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner.

The one-off creation pays tribute to a sport that’s defined for its exclusivity and the perceptions attached to it. Falconry isn’t a sport for everyone, and just the same, the Bentayga Falconry isn’t for everyone either. I imagine those who don’t engage in the sport or the hunt will have very little use for the master flight station sitting in the trunk of the luxury SUV or the actual perches that come as part of the whole Mulliner falconry experience. If they do find use for these things, they’re a lot more creative than I imagined them to be. But for those who do participate in falconry, Mulliner’s creation serves as the perfect companion for an expedition. It also helps that Bentley used the Bentayga SUV for this project, because as awesome as the Mulsanne and Continental models are, I don’t expect them to be completely in their element in the heart of the desert where the sport is usually “played.”

Continue after the jump to read more about the Bentley Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner.

What makes the Bentley Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner special

Bentley Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner Exterior High Resolution
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Bentley released a one-off model inspired by falconry just a few weeks after Rolls-Royce created its own one-off model inspired by, you guessed it, falconry.

Running down the list of items that are considered “special” in the one-off Bentley Bentayga is going to take some time so before we take a dive into the proceedings, I’d like to point out how amusing it is to see Bentley release a one-off model inspired by falconry just a few weeks after Rolls-Royce created its own one-off model inspired by, you guessed it, falconry. Remember the Rolls-Royce Wraith Inspired by Falconry? I fancy all of this to be nothing more than coincidence, but still, I can imagine the reaction over at Mulliner when it saw Rolls-Royce unveil the Wraith Inspired by Falconry last month.

Bentley Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner Exterior High Resolution
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Bentley Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner Exterior High Resolution
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Bentley Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner Exterior High Resolution
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Bentley Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner Exterior High Resolution
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Mulliner can do personalization as well as anybody and the firm’s capabilities are on full display with this one-off Bentayga.

Anyway, to each his own. Mulliner can do personalization as well as anybody and the firm’s capabilities are on full display with this one-off Bentayga. Don’t bother looking for exterior upgrades though because you’re going to be disappointed if you do. Whereas other Bentaygas may benefit from a new spoiler lip here or new mirror caps and side skirts there, the Bentayga Falconry eschews all of that in favor of sticking true to the sport where it takes its inspiration.

That means that all the goodies can be found inside the SUV, most notably in the trunk where two individual natural-cork-fabric-trimmed units can be found sitting in a movable tray for easy access. One is the master flight station, a bespoke storage unit that contains just about every important equipment needed to participate in the sport. There’s a GPS bird tracking unit stashed in a compartment inside a laser-embossed Hotspur hide stowage tray. Other compartments in the master flight station house binoculars, gauntlets, and hand-crafted leather bird hoods. Even the station itself is dressed for the part, notably featuring a special Piano Black veneered drawer with its own saker falcon crest that Mulliner threw in for good measure. The other unit of note here is the refreshment case, which stores three metal flasks, durable cups, a blanket, and face cloths.

Less conspicuous are the pair of individual perches that are tucked away in a special natural-cork-fabric-trimmed case that itself is stored in a hard pocket that Mulliner built into the side of the boot of this one-off Bentayga. The perches are exclusively for the actual birds that falconers use in competition and they’re inclusion in the trunk of the Bentayga allows for easy preparation for the falcon and the falconer. In no way then do the cork boot-floor and rear-sill protection covers act as cosmetic additions. They play useful roles themselves in helping the bird feel comfortable during prep time, especially when the sun’s out on the desert.

Bentley Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner Interior High Resolution
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Bentley Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner Interior High Resolution
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Bentley Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner Interior High Resolution
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Bentley Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner Exterior High Resolution
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Inside the cabin, a separate and removable transportation perch and tether is located in the central armrest.

Inside the cabin, a separate and removable transportation perch and tether is located in the central armrest. I’m not quite fond of this addition for sanitary purposes, especially if a falcon does its business inside that Hotspur-hide-trimmed cabin with the black and red leather treatment. Then again, anybody who can afford a $1 million saker falcon and a six-figure, one-off Bentley Bentayga should have no problems finding somebody to tidy up the luxury SUV for him. I’d argue though that even if the owner of this one-off Bentayga is comfortable having an actual bird of prey sitting beside him, I’d caution him to keep the falcon away from the intricate wood marquetry inlay of the bird’s actual likeness in the desert on the front passenger’s dashboard. Bentley Mulliner says that the inlay is made up of 430 individual pieces of wood and it would be a tragedy if someone, or something, messes that up.

Power comes in standard form for the one-off Bentayga Falconry. That means that the lucky owner who goes home with this super-exclusive luxury SUV will also bring home with him a 6.0-liter twin-turbo W-12 engine that spits out 600 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque, good enough to propel the Bentayga to 60 mph in four seconds on a normal road surface before peaking at a top speed of 187 mph. Obviously, those figures will fall dramatically in the desert, but rest assured, the power and torque figures will definitely be put to good use in that environment.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type 6-litre twin-turbocharged W12 TSI
Max Power 600 HP @ 5,250-6,000 RPM
Max Torque 664 LB-FT @ 1,250-4,500 RPM
Transmission ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox
Top speed 187 mph / 301 km/h
0-60 mph 4.0 secs
0-100 km/h 4.1 secs
City (US mpg) 14
Highway (US mpg) 20
Combined (US mpg) 16
Emissions Controls EU 6 and US LEV III

Bentley has given no indication of the cost of the Bentayga Falconry, although we can all at least agree that it’s not going to come cheap. The standard Bentayga is already set to deal at least $230,000 worth of financial damages to a customer’s wallet. Imagine then what a one-off Bentayga will cost that comes with all the activity-specific bells and whistles that this particular SUV comes with. $300,000, perhaps? Maybe even $400,000?

How are these two falconry-inspired one-offs different?

Bentley Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner Exterior High Resolution
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2017 Rolls-Royce Wraith Inspired by Falconry
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Bentley Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner Rolls-Royce Wraith Inspired by Falconry

Rolls-Royce and Bentley releasing one-off models inspired by falconry within a month of each other has all the makings of a hilarious coincidence. I didn’t see it coming and I don’t think both companies were even tipped off that it was going to happen. But it did, and the world is a funnier place because of it. Obviously, the similarities between the two one-off creations start and end with the use of falconry as the inspiration. The good news, at least for brands go, is that there are still plenty of differences between the two one-off creations. The obvious one is the choice of car, with Bentley basing this one-off piece on the Bentayga while Rolls-Royce used the Wraith luxury sedan as the blank canvas. Bentley’s falconry-inspired Bentayga also wins in the functionality category over the largely aesthetically inclined Wraith Inspired by Falconry.

Let it be said, though, that both the Bentley Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner and the Rolls-Royce Wraith Inspired by Falconry, are two pieces of art on four wheels that I don’t mind bringing home to the missus. I’ll probably get something thrown my way for spending that much on a car that’s inspired by a sport I’ve never played, but there’s something outrightly appealing about a vehicle that has been redesigned and redeveloped to actually make room and space for a live falcon. How many cars can say they have something like that?

Mulliner has an impressive history with one-off Bentley Bentaygas

Bentley Bentayga Fly Fishing by Mulliner High Resolution Exterior
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note: photo of the Bentley Bentayga Fly Fishing by Mulliner

The Bentayga Fly Fishing was described as an “ultimate accessory” for fishermen and anglers alike.

Fans of Mulliner are likely to be familiar with the approach taken by Bentley’s Mulliner personalization division. After all, it wasn’t that long ago (around 10 months to be exact) that Bentley and Mulliner offered a similar one-off creation, the Bentayga Fly Fishing. Like the Bentayga Falconry, the Bentayga Fly Fishing was described as an “ultimate accessory” for fishermen and anglers alike, featuring enough equipment to make for an exciting weekend fishing trip. You know what else the two one-off Bentaygas have in common? Each had a bespoke trunk that came with its own master station and refreshment case. In the Fly Fishing’s case, Mulliner created a master tackle station that came with four fishing rods that have their own leather-wrapped tube storages, a pair of landing nets in matching leather bags, and enough fly-tying vice and tools, cotton, hooks, and feathers.

Another hand-crafted, saddle leather-wrapped wood trunk is also available for waders and boots. The trunk itself is wrapped with neoprene to ensure that the items stored in it, most of which will be presumably wet after a day’s worth of fishing, will remain in a waterproof environment. Speaking of which, the entire trunk floor of this one-off Bentayga is also waterproof. Then there’s the refreshment case, which not only comes with a liner leather-trimmed interior, but also contains three metal flasks, a set of Mulliner fine-china tableware, and a separate food storage compartment.

Bentley has created the ultimate accessory for the falconry enthusiast, with the new Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner.

Hand-crafted by Mulliner – Bentley’s personal commissioning division – the Bentayga Falconry features a bespoke installation in the rear which houses all the equipment required for an enjoyable falconry expedition.

At the heart of the Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner are two individual natural-cork-fabric-trimmed units: a master flight station and a refreshment case. These sit on a movable tray that allows for easy access. Inside the master flight unit is a special Piano Black veneered drawer – with a saker falcon crest – containing bespoke storage for all the equipment required for this unique sport.

Beneath this is a laser-embossed Hotspur hide stowage tray with individual compartments for a GPS bird tracking unit, binoculars and hand-crafted leather bird hoods and gauntlets, all of which are available as an additional option. The refreshment case houses three metal flasks and durable cups, a blanket and refreshing face cloths.

Bentley Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner Exterior High Resolution
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Two individual perches are stored in a special natural-cork-fabric-trimmed case which slots into a hard pocket built into the side of the boot. A boot-floor and rear-sill protection cover – also in cork – is discreetly integrated into the rear of the Bentayga. Using this reversible feature in conjunction with the in-car perch, falconers can prepare their bird in comfort and shade.

Inside the Bentayga’s Hotspur-hide-trimmed cabin, there is a removable transportation perch and tether on the central armrest, and an exquisite example of Mulliner’s skill with marquetry. The sweeping desert scene – featuring a soaring saker falcon – was created using 430 individual pieces of wood sourced from all over the world and hand-crafted over nine days.

Geoff Dowding, Director of Mulliner, said: “The Bentayga Falconry showcases what’s possible with our skilled craftspeople. They can devise elegant and exquisitely executed bespoke solutions to compliment any lifestyle or hobby. Falconry is regarded as the sport of kings in the Middle East, so it was vital that the kit we created was as luxurious as it was practical and durable to appeal to our valued customers there and around the world.”

Bentley Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner Exterior High Resolution
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The Majestic Saker Falcon in Exquisite Marquetry

The specific breed of falcon used in the Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner marquetry is the saker Falcon – which has been used for hunting for thousands of years and is still one of the most sought-after and valuable birds today, with exceptional examples fetching as much as $1,000,000.

No two Mulliner veneers are the same and the skill demonstrated by the Crewe-based craftspeople comes initially from selecting exactly the right piece of wood for its unique qualities, such as the speckling of Lacewood that mimics the rippling of the windswept desert.

In the depiction of the falcon itself, the vanes of each individual feather are achieved by cutting the shape from specific veneers. Sand shading (a classic hand-crafting technique which enhances definition) adds a darker gradient to the tips of the wings, creating shadow and the illusion of depth.

Each of the 430 pieces used in the saker falcon marquetry inlay has undergone four separate processes of cutting, sand shading, pressing and double cutting – before being assembled by hand over nine days.

Before the finished inlay is pressed and lacquered, checks are made under magnification to ensure that the fit of each piece is perfect and that aesthetically the grain direction and sand shading are even and consistent.

Woods from all around the world were used to create the piece including Chestnut, Eucalyptus Pommele, Holly, Lacewood, Maple, Olive Ash and Ripple Sycamore.

Bentley Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner Interior High Resolution
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Luxurious, Sustainable and Durable – Mulliner’s New Materials

Mulliner is constantly researching new luxurious, sustainable and durable materials for use in its specially commissioned models and accessories.

With the Falconry kit, natural cork fabric was selected to trim the various elements thanks to its luxurious feel, warmth and sustainable qualities. This fabric is natural, easily maintained and – thanks to its extreme durability – perfectly suited to harsh, rugged environments.

Natural cork fabric is crafted from thin sheets of sustainably harvested cork that display the natural patterns found in this striking material.

The laser-embossed Hotspur hide used to line the units is also new and offers a modern and stylish take on a Bentley classic. Using state-of-the-art laser embossing technology – similar to that used in the creation of luxury leather goods – the hide is left with a technical honeycomb-style finish which contemporises the hide.

Bentley Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner Interior High Resolution
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Bentley Bentayga – Genuine Luxury with Go-Anywhere Ability

Never before has a vehicle so coherently combined genuine luxury with go-anywhere driving ability.

Powerful, individual and exquisite in equal measure, the Bentayga is for those who demand luxury without restriction. It provides a true Bentley experience, even in the most challenging environments and takes luxury to new places, unrestrained by climate, terrain or conditions.

It offers the widest range of on- and off-road drive settings of any vehicle via Bentley’s Drive Dynamics Mode and optional Responsive Off-Road Setting. Up to eight modes are available, allowing drivers, at the simple turn of a dial, to select the perfect dynamic set-up for any surface or road condition. This versatility is complemented by Bentley Dynamic Ride (electrically activated 48V active roll control) and Electric Power-Assisted Steering (EPAS).

The Responsive Off-Road Setting allows the customer to select the appropriate vehicle settings for a wide range of off-road surfaces, while the Driver Information Panel displays information on pitch, roll, wheel articulation, steering angle, compass bearing and altitude.

As with all Bentleys, the Bentayga comes with multi-mode air suspension. The Bentayga driver has four different modes to choose from: High 2, High 1, Normal and Low. High 2, for example, can be manually selected when tackling more severe off-road surfaces. Customers can also lower the rear suspension via a switch in the boot, to ease loading and trailer hitching.

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