One of the most eminently British forms in the automotive world — the high-performance, two-seater GT — is expressed in Bentley’s stunning design language. Expect luxurious extravagance, gorgeous sheet metal and high-watt power output.
While Bentley Motors may have you believe there are thirty different models in their line-up, we know better. Remove the alternate V8 and performance-tuned powertrains and droptop options, and in reality you basically have three Bentleys to choose from: the iconic, gorgeous GT Continental that single-handedly revived the storied brand, and its two big brothers — the Flying Spur and Mulsanne. The former being brooding executive yachts more aimed at coddling rear passengers than making their drivers sweat.
But not for long. At a private event last night in Geneva, Bentley pulled back the silk sheets to reveal a concept car that will define an entirely new segment: the EXP 10 Speed 6.
The EXP 10 Speed 6 is Bentley’s first two-seater sports car since the Lagonda racers and 4¼-Litre luxury coupés of the 1930s. And it is a jaw-dropper. Not only is the exterior achingly beautiful, but Bentley has taken great pains to mate the modernity and sleekness of the sheet metal with an interior to match.
“The EXP 10 Speed 6 is one vision for Bentley’s future – a powerful, exquisite and individual concept… It offers thrilling, driver-oriented performance, complete with trademark modern Bentley luxury and effortlessness,” Wolfgang Dürheimer, chairman and CEO of Bentley Motors, explained from Switzerland. “It could be a future model line, alongside the Continental GT and redefining the pinnacle of another market sector.”
The exterior incorporates many of Bentley’s iconic design cues, and adapts them into a more svelte sports car form with impeccable execution. Certain Bentley motifs are exaggerated and enlarged, but not absurdly so — rather they’re taken to their terminally expressive points. The usage of Bentley’s quad-headlamps is new, but quintessentially Bentley. The rear haunches will remind you of the GT Continental’s already massive shoulders, but they’re even further bulked up. They’re not turgid or comically beefcake, however, but rather athletic. Dangerous. Quick-looking. Lebron-esque.
Continue reading about the Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept after the Jump…
“The EXP 10 Speed 6 is one vision for Bentley’s future…”
This marks a stark separation from the EXP 9 F concept SUV unveiled at Geneva three years ago, which was widely (and justifiably) eviscerated in the press. Whereas it was a grotesque expression of Bentley’s design language in bloated SUV form, the EXP 10 Speed 6 manifests that same DNA gorgeously.
The interior also aims future-forward, while retaining the old world craftsmanship that separates a Bentley from just about every other vehicle on Earth. Sure, you get the supple Poltrona Frau leather and straight-grain cherry wood trims (not to mention a four-piece designer luggage set). But their execution is flipped, injected with ultra-modern techniques in manufacturing.
For instance, the deep quilting on the leather (which we’ve drooled over in the Flying Spur) is repeated via 3D-texturizing on the precision glass of the headlamps, as well as the doors that feature similar quilting directly milled into their cherry wood panels. Each quilt is then centered in copper — a precious metal that is repeated throughout (such as on the well-designed shifter). The insides also get a futuristic iPad-like 12” touchscreen laid vertically on the center console, knurled buttons and dials, and a gauge cluster that pairs an analog rev counter with a digital display.
3D-texturizing on the precision glass of the Bentley’s headlamps
So far no word on engine options, although Bentley hinted at the possibility of hybrid powertrains. A variation of their torque-heavy 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 would be quite likely, although Bentley’s previous “Speed 6” models were all named after their straight six cylinder powerplants.
Ask The Big Question:
Is Bentley just flexing their design muscle, or is the EXP 10 Speed 6 a concept with a very real eye on the production floor?
Disrupt Your Feed:
Utilizing high-tech 3D metal printing technologies, Bentley can style various body elements (e.g. matrix grille mesh, exhaust ports, door handles and side vents) with micro-scale precision. The mesh grille is so intricately designed that it features a 3D geometry of varying depth that is only visible when viewed at an angle.
Drop This Fact:
Bentley designers claim the muscular surfaces found throughout the EXP 10 Speed 6 are inspired by the aerodynamic shapes of aircraft fuselages and wings.