- The Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner costs £75,000 ($97,000) over the standard vehicle price
- The boot houses a ‘master flight station’, an artificially turfed perch, and a case for refreshments
- The master flight station houses a GPS bird tracking unit, binoculars and hand-crafted leather bird hoods
- The car’s dashboard boasts a sweeping desert scene featuring a Saker falcon which took nine days to craft
For the mega-rich who practice the ancient sport of falconry, a luxury British car maker has come up with the ideal hunting vehicle – a 180mph (290kph), £200,000 ($260,000) customised Bentley.
The ‘Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner’, which costs £75,000 ($97,000) over the standard price, is fitted with a perch between the front seats.
Inside the boot are two compartments – a master flight station, which sits behind a second, artificially-turfed perch, and a case for refreshments.
The master flight station houses a GPS bird tracking unit, binoculars, hand-crafted leather bird hoods and gauntlets, tracking antennas and various tools and tethers.
A blanket, face cloths and three metal flasks are housed inside the refreshment case.
However, it is the exquisite craftsmanship and attention to detail which commands the exuberant price tag.
The dashboard boasts a sweeping desert scene featuring a native Saker falcon which took nine days and 430 individual pieces of wood to craft.
Each piece of the inlay went through four separate processes of cutting, hot sand shading, pressing and double cutting, before being assembled by hand.
Falconry enthusiasts are unlikely to be put off by the cost of the customisations – the top falcons are known to cost as much as £750,000 ($970,000) in the Middle East.
Geoff Dowding, director of Mulliner, Bentley’s commissioning division, 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.
For a 4,000-year-old activity known to many in the Middle East as The Sport of Kings, competitors need to have the ultimate in luxury and practicality. So Crewe-based Bentley has decided to offer a bespoke product for its super-rich customers
‘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.’
The ancient sport of falconry is widely practised in the Middle east, and has been popular for centuries.
Historically, Bedouin tribes used the birds to hunt in the desert to supplement their diet with meat.
Today falconry is a rite of passage for many young Emirati men – groups of friends regularly meet in the evenings to train their birds.
In the the United Arab Emirates the government spends a reported £20 million ($26 million) a year on protecting falcons in the wild, and an image of the bird appears on the country’s national flag.
The UAE even has specialist falcon hospitals to treat injured birds, which can dive at speeds of more than 200mph (320 kph).