The Bentley rotating dashboard replaces ephemeral technology with timeless beauty | T3

In 50 years’ time, on the manicured lawns of classic car Concours at Pebble Beach and Villa d’Este, might a dashboard covered in touchscreen displays stand out like a sore thumb? This is a concern Bentley has, and which prompted it to spend three years developing the Bentley Rotating Dashboard.

An ingenious piece of precision engineering, the mechanism sees a large chunk of the dashboard rotate like Jame Bond’s number plates, spinning between the infotainment system, three analogue dials, and a blank veneer at the touch of a button. It’s a wonderful piece of design, and so it should be given the £4,865 Bentley relieves you of when adding it to your car. Despite the price, it’s a mighty popular option, with Bentley saying approximately 70% of buyers tick the Rotating Display box.

It’s clever too. There are over 150 components, 40 moving parts and two motors with their own gearboxes, all controlled by a dedicated computer and working in perfect harmony to give the driver whichever of the three views they want. The alignment of each face is accurate to 0.3mm, and the whole system has to survive any temperature or humidity the planet can throw at it, just like any other component.

Bentley Rotating Dashboard

(Image credit: Bentley)

And to maintain those tolerances, Bentley says the system is self-teaching, in that the ECU uses ‘intelligent speed control’ to vary how quickly the dashboard rotates, thus accommodating for variances in mechanical friction and battery voltage. That speed can’t vary too much though, as vehicle legislation requires a reversing camera view to appear within two seconds of the gear being selected, so the display needs to spin round to show the display at a moment’s notice.


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