This Is How Bentley’s Amazing Rotating Dashboard Really Works
With 150 parts, two motors and gearboxes and tolerances of 0.3mm, the Bentley Rotating Display is an extraordinarily complicated way to give the driver a choice of seeing the sat-nav or not.
Of course, there’s rather more to it than that. At the press of a button, the system rotates between three options. The driver can view a 12.3-inch touchscreen display with controls for the car’s infotainment system, they can view three analogue dials (outside air temperature, a compass and a chronometer), or they can opt for a blank piece of veneer.
The system rotates speedily and accurately like the number plates of James Bond–who originally drove a Bentley in the first novels, don’t forget–between the three options.
Instead of merely rotating on the spot, the system first pulls backwards slightly to create enough clearance, then rotates to your chosen mode, and pushes forward again to sit flush with the dashboard.
Delving into the technology behind the system for the first time, Bentley explained: “The Bentley Rotating Display (BRD) took more than three years to develop from initial concept, with extensive testing undertaken to ensure the highest quality standard was consistently achieved. The feature is constructed from 153 individual components to form a three sided rotating display.”
All of this precision doesn’t come cheap. The BRD is a £4,700 option for buyers for the Continental GT and new Flying Spur to consider; without it they are left with the infotainment display and nothing else. Despite the high cost, Bentley says 70% of customers opt for the rotating display.
That may sound surprising, but buyers of decade-old cars today will no doubt lament their prehistoric-looking infotainment displays. Technology moves at such a pace that, a decade down the line, the dashboards of today’s cars might look equally antiquated. To future proof this, being able to hide the display might one day be a prudent move.