Bentley is a storied, old-world brand. Accordingly, its models are fitted with the finest woods and leathers the world has to offer.
These old-world wiles can only carry a carmaker so far into the 21st century, though. At some point, it’ll need to find a way to marry historic charm with cutting-edge technology to retain the attention of its successful and oft tech-intrigued clientele.
Delightfully The EXP 10 Speed 6 concept does just that. With cutting-edge 3D-printed accents, a 12-inch curved touchscreen infotainment system, and Poltrona Frau leather, the sports car vision seems to perfectly marry the Bentley of the past with the Bentley of the future.
Bentley is no stranger to speed. In fact, its current models that carry that moniker can crack 60 mph in less than 5.0 seconds on the way to 200-mph. The GT Speed, for example, though, is no sports car, which leaves an obvious mid-range hole in the ever-expanding Bentley brand.
This is where the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept will likely fall — when it is given a proper name and sent into production – just above the Continental and below the Bentayga SUV.
Don’t believe me? Here’s what Wolfgang Durheimer, chairman and CEO of Bentley, had to say of the concept, “This is not just a new sports car concept — but the potential Bentley sports car – a bold vision for a brand with a bold future.”
To create the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept, Bentley was keen to move the brand’s iconic fascia design forward without altogether remaking it. To do this, its clever designers looked to cutting-edge 3D printing technology to bring the Bentley matrix grille – along with its exhausts, door handles, and side vents — into the 21st century by adding detail and precision, a mark for the brand, never before possible.
For example, the mesh grille on the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept is no longer a “flat plane of latticework but includes varying depth with a complex 3D geometry only visible when viewed at an angle,” the Brand explains in the press release. The intricate detail at the front of the car doesn’t end there, as even the headlight glass has been shaped to mimic the three-dimensional texture of the brand’s quilted leather seats.
Bespoke Bentley for the future
The single design line running around the exterior of the concept, which was inspired by aircraft fuselages and wings, is carried into the interior.
At the center of the wing-like console – flanked on either side by elegant sport seats — is a 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system framed by aluminum.
Bentleys are known for their knurled metal surfaces. For the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept, though, the boys went one step further and added copper and steel together to create a two-metal 3D texture unlike anything else in the industry. And all of that is accented by cherry wood, which is the perfect highlight to the modern, metallic take on the British Racing Green paint scheme.
To fire the car, the driver presses the ‘B’ button on the floating non-symmetrical gearlever. What exactly that B is igniting, though, is still unknown. Bentley does, however, refer to the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept as a “performance hybrid,” which means to me that it will be powered by a version of the 4.0-liter V8 and at least two electric motors.
On the show floor in Geneva this year, I’ll be pressing Bentley for more answers on this beaut. So be sure to check back for more info on the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept.