A huge power increase in Bentley's latest Flying Spur saloon has brought an unprecedented new sound to the car.
But that's exactly what Bentley wanted and not what you might expect. Not outside the car, anyway.
Intead, Bentley and its audio partner, Naim, have concentrated on the cabin.
It's not the first time a major carmaker has gone to a top-end sound company for assistance, but the Flying Spur is the first time Naim has come out of the lounge room and into a car.
In making the transition, Naim brings in a 1100W war chest of sound that is driven by a series of eight high-end amplifiers with 15 channels and fired through 15 speakers.
The two companies claim it is the world's most powerful production-car audio system.
Naim has modified the interior of the Bentley Continental and Arnage range for the finest sound quality, clarity and precise reproduction.
Everything is custom-made for the Bentley model specified, including making a system as perfect in delivering sound quality in the Continental GTC convertible with the roof up as it is with the roof down.
It is enough to may make audiophiles go ga-ga, but it comes at a cost. The system in the Continental Flying Spur adds 15kg to the car and, as an option on the car when it arrives in Australia later this year, will cost up to about $15,000.
Naim systems for the home cost anywhere between $6000 and $250,000, though Naim's project manager Trevor Wilson says the sky's the limit.
“We are fanatical and obsessive about sound quality and attention to detail,” Wilson says.
Details of the system include heavy brass holders for the circuit boards, which are mounted on springs to isolate vibration and a storage box made of heavy-gauge extruded aluminium. The tweeters have silk cores — not paper — and the sub-woofers operate in the boot to maximise sound depth.
Naim still makes domestic audio equipment and operates its own record label.
Its products are available from eight Australian dealers.