The Airline Seat also features an internal multi-zone climate control system that will monitor both the temperature and humidity of any part of a body resting against it, heating or cooling as necessary to maintain a chosen temperature. I didn’t actually notice this working – which is undoubtedly the point – but I certainly felt fresh after an hour of being chauffeured at full recline. There’s also a multitude of massage and posture-improving functions.
There are a couple of issues, though. The first is dictated by physics: the higher seating position of an SUV means cornering loads have more effect on a recumbent passenger than if positioned lower, so chauffeurs will have to take a very leisurely pace on non-straight roads to avoid complaints from the back.
The second is the fact that the extra room makes the fold-out table at the top of the front seatback pretty much useless as anything bar a tablet rest; in contrast, the Mercedes-Maybach GLS gets a fold-out airline-style table.
Even after I’ve experienced its spacious charms, the EWB doesn’t feel like an obvious successor to the Mulsanne. It’s better to drive than the venerable saloon ever was, being quicker and more dynamically secure, but it doesn’t have quite the same sense of occasion.
Yet the EWB undoubtedly looks better than the regular Bentayga, and apart from the need to pay a substantial supplement (even an optionless EWB is predicted to cost a punchy £211,300), choosing the stretch requires no sacrifices beyond the more subdued engine note.