Expensive lavish materials: the new luxury touch

Published: 28 July 2011

You might be more used to sitting on porcelain in the smallest room in the house and wrapping yourself in a cashmere scarf - but these expensive materials are making their way into the car world.

A couple of recent launches suggest the trend for ultra-exclusive materials is growing. At the top end of the market, perhaps inevitably, but nonetheless we're witnessing a new trend for touchy-feely luxury.

The porcelain Bugatti

First up was the recent Bugatti Veyron L'Or Blanc, or white gold. It was built in collaboration with Königliche Porzellan-Manufatur of Berlin, a German porcelain specialist.

This one-off special edition has seven different porcelain items of trim, including a caviar tray in the centre console. It's a material we're going to see more of in future Bugattis, according to new CEO Wolfgang Durheimer.

'No-one has thought of this, but it is quite beautiful, and not susceptible to variations in temperature,' Durheimer told CAR.

Mercedes-Benz S-class: silk and cashmere

It doesn't stop with porcelain. The new Mercedes S-class will reportedly bristle with special materials, as Stuttgart hopes to leapfrog competition from BMW and Audi with a synaesthetic blend of silks, cashmere and even banana wood.

Should make a nice change from the recent obsession with cold, man-made carbonfibre and other harsh materials. But will we have to dry clean our car interiors from now on?

>> What other materials should cabin designers experiment with? Click 'Add your comment' and let us know

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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