RE: Bentley reveals 1,106lb ft EXP 100 GT

RE: Bentley reveals 1,106lb ft EXP 100 GT

Wednesday 10th July

Bentley reveals 1,106lb ft EXP 100 GT

New concept celebrates brand's centenary - and points to its all-electric future



'The future of Bentley' were the words used to introduce the EXP 100 GT to the international media at Crewe yesterday. The concept car was real enough - and the second century ambition it symbolises very welcome - although the manufacturer's notion of what its customers might want to spend their (considerable pots of) money on in forthcoming decades remains conspicuously fluid.

The two-door EXP includes provision for fuel cell technology, but does not actually feature it. Solid state batteries will equip it with a 435-mile range - but of course they are not commercially viable just yet. And it envisions a near future where autonomous driving will seamlessly merge with the idea of taking the wheel yourself - despite the prerequisite AI still being very much in its infancy.

So the EXP is not for tomorrow or the day after then. Bentley pitches 2035 as the concept's inspiration - so it can hardly be blamed for hedging its bets. (Indeed, CEO Adrian Hallmark, as canny an observer of the future as you're ever likely to meet, highlighted the danger in placing all your EV eggs in one basket.) Plainly, though, the manufacturer is preparing itself to win the last war it fought; namely remaking and revitalising the Grand Tourer - in this case for a decade which might conceivably have other things on its mind.


To that end the EXP is as sleek as a stickleback and as big as a barn. Structurally speaking, it's made chiefly from aluminium and carbon fibre so that it can claim to be 'lightweight' at 1,900kg. Naturally it is all-electric, powered by four motors with a combined maximum torque delivery of 1,106lb ft and up to 1360hp, for a projected 0-62mph time of less than 2.5 seconds and a top speed of 186mph.

Needless to say this level of twist will be vectored in clever fashion, by something called the Next Generation Traction Drive. The really sophisticated bit, though, is the battery technology, where the solid state configuration will provide five times the conventional energy density - which means the batteries can be smaller while at the same time offering superior range. Bentley reckons the EXP can be charged to 80 per cent of capacity in around 15 minutes.

Chances are that will be too slow for car buyers in 2035, hence the brand's interest in a fuel cell-based answer to the reoccurring EV problem. "While a full battery powertrain could be a transitional solution, we believe a fuel cell hybrid, together with batteries, is the perfect mid-term solution for Bentley grand touring," noted Stefan Sielaff, Bentley's Director of Design.


The proposed hydrogen fuel cell would not be used to drive the EXP's wheels, but rather charge its battery while on the move. The benefits of a zero-emission closed system are obvious enough - especially in the context of a continent-crossing Grand Tourer - although Bentley concedes that the continuing lack of refuelling infrastructure remains a significant drawback to the real world application of the technology.

Predictably, the manufacturer is on firmer ground when it comes to styling and trim materials. At 5.8m long and almost 2.4m wide, the EXP is clearly intended to make a big statement about Bentley's design direction even while it tips its illuminated matrix grille at a familiar present. Its doors measure fully 2m on their own, and are pure show car - pivoting outwards and then upwards at the touch of button, and rising to a height of nearly 3m when fully open.

"Enhancing and enriching every single journey and the lives of every single person who travels in it" is the EXP's core premise and the striking interior is well-suited to the task. As you might expect from a firm of Bentley's prowess, the trim material selection is spectacular - and sustainable with it. Think 5,000 year-old rescued riverwood infused with copper, British Farmed Wool carpets and swathes of embroidered cotton. The concept also features a glass canopy which is said to feature embedded prisms that 'harvest' light from the surrounding environment and then transfer it into the interior using fibre optics. Funky.


The cabin can be reconfigured for two, three or four seats depending on your requirements, and Bentley claims the EXP uses AI to predict the emotions of its occupants - information it uses to tailor each driving experience. For much of the time, the manufacturer imagines you simply enjoying the scenery: in 'Cocoon' mode it employs the latest active noise cancellation technology and an air purification system to augment your sense of wellbeing.

The EXP's 'Drive' mode - accessed via hand gesture - would be preserved for the right kind of road (and mood, presumably) and would return complete control of the car. It is this mixture of 'driving and driven' that bemight be like in 16 years' time. Not quite as enthralling as the EXP 10 Speed 6 it unveiled at Geneva in 2015 (or the EXP 12 6E shown two years later) but with virtual confirmation that neither of those concepts will spawn a production 'luxury sports car', the EXP 100 GT suggests that Bentley is now preoccupied with one destination. How it actually gets us there we look forward to finding out.


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Author
Discussion

Mark-C

Original Poster:

3,002 posts

148 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all
I would like to apologise to BMW for being rude about their current grill design ...

another 3 points

825 posts

140 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all
Seems to have swallowed a chandelier on its way to to the show. What’s the real front look like?

rare6499

261 posts

82 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all
The interior is quite stunning. The front of the car is clearly a bit bold...but the side and rear profiles are genuinely handsome. It’s an impressive piece of design in my opinion!

Barry Homo

2,107 posts

105 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all
Sensational piece of design.
Muscular but still with an absurd flow. The proportions are exquisite.
Massive fan of the seat design which is like some kind of mid century furniture meets terminator in a sexy fight.
I don't care for the main grille but the sub grilles and lights are ace and a bit deco which I think is really cool.
Plan view with the architectural frame showing through is something else too.
I even think the rose gold accents are nailed and not to OTT like they were on the De Tomasa at Goodwood.
Class.

unsprung

2,950 posts

67 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all

enormous, majestic, fantastical

a clever way for Bentley to join its past and its future; being upper-crust-y doesn't necessarily mean being retrograde

It does, in a small way, remind me of the Cadillac Sixteen, a concept car of 2003 which had a similar long nose inspired by early motor cars. It had a normally-aspirated V-16 that produced 1000 bhp and 1000 lb-ft.






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Robert-nszl1

369 posts

31 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all
It has a square steering wheel, it must be the future!

ntiz

761 posts

79 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all
It’s very nice other than the front.

But disappointed that it’s such a pie in the sky concept. Was hoping for something that might actually get built.

Toma500

1,031 posts

196 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all
Seems big gobs are the latest fashion jeezus give it a rest bigmouth

virgilio

115 posts

88 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all
humungous grille and bonnet, in an ELECTRIC car: one doesn’t need Freud’s mind to grasp the sexual/psychological implications of such a useless design...

Yet, in view of the frightening frequency of these designs in recent years, one has to wonder what happened: who lost their secual potency so completely as to need this design? is it rich people? or is it marketing/design/strategy employees? or is it both?

Sad and puzzling. WO’s grave must be shaking...

BeirutTaxi

6,493 posts

157 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all
Why quote the torque figure on its own in the article headline?! Just shows that the author doesn't understand basic engineering principles.

You could have 10,000 Nm of torque, but if the crankshaft spins at a single revolution per hour you won't be going anywhere fast. Energy (kw, bhp) is what determines speed.

Toltec

5,739 posts

166 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all
BeirutTaxi said:
Why quote the torque figure on its own in the article headline?! Just shows that the author doesn't understand basic engineering principles.

You could have 10,000 Nm of torque, but if the crankshaft spins at a single revolution per hour you won't be going anywhere fast. Energy (kw, bhp) is what determines speed.
I saw the 1,106lb and thought Bently had made some ultra light concept, oh well.

S1KRR

10,279 posts

155 months

Wednesday 10th July
quotequote all
Love it!

Get it built!

ntiz

761 posts

79 months

Thursday 11th July
quotequote all
virgilio said:
humungous grille and bonnet, in an ELECTRIC car: one doesn’t need Freud’s mind to grasp the sexual/psychological implications of such a useless design...

Yet, in view of the frightening frequency of these designs in recent years, one has to wonder what happened: who lost their secual potency so completely as to need this design? is it rich people? or is it marketing/design/strategy employees? or is it both?

Sad and puzzling. WO’s grave must be shaking...
Or pretty much every Bentley except the later Continental GT has had a big long bonnet. Admittedly because they have all had big engines to fill them but they still have to keep all the stuff you associate with the Brand.

Other wise how do you differentiate it from all the other EVs?



Having a 100 years of history can be a pain because they are always trying to have nod back to this view basically.

MiseryStreak

1,554 posts

150 months

Thursday 11th July
quotequote all
Lightweight. Bwaaaaahahaha. The weight of three Lotus Elans, and not as fun to drive as any of them.

The future’s bright, the future’s a big ugly plastic with a fictional battery and a robot to drive you. fk you Bentley.

tonker

56,015 posts

191 months

Thursday 11th July
quotequote all
It’s just made up stuff isn’t it? It’s powered by unicorn jizz, harvested by Spider-Man. And filtered through Tinkerbell’s pants.

virgilio

115 posts

88 months

Thursday 11th July
quotequote all
ntiz said:
Having a 100 years of history can be a pain because they are always trying to have nod back to this view basically.
(fantastic picture by the way)

The problem is exactly this, ie that marketing and style guys “are always trying to nod back to this view (to previous styling ideas)”, to keep family feeling and bs like that, forgetting that the iconic design they try to replicate stemmed from geniuses imagining the future, not by stylists aping the past.

Can you imagine Enzo Ferrari telling Scaglietti to put some more 166MM hints in the 250GTO? Or Jean Bugatti trying to nod back to the Brescia when imagining the Atalante?

simonrockman

5,772 posts

198 months

Thursday 11th July
quotequote all
Mercedes played the same concept game with the Maybach Exelero



But there is no fluidity on what Bentley buyers want, just fudge. What they want is this:


Ugly with added ugliness.

So we are shown something beautiful, and I do think the EXP 100 GT looks beautiful. while they make what sells.

But we might be getting to a time where far out concepts become dangerous, when a Chinese factory sees the concept and knocks out something not-quite-the-same -but-close. In nine months.


irocfan

19,780 posts

133 months

Thursday 11th July
quotequote all
I really like it - stunning

irocfan

19,780 posts

133 months

Thursday 11th July
quotequote all
simonrockman said:
Mercedes played the same concept game with the Maybach Exelero




looks like they had a Crossfire in the mix there somewhere

Friggatron

20 posts

72 months

Thursday 11th July
quotequote all


This is what came to my mind...