Bentley celebrates its centenary this year as reported on AlphaLuxe HERE at 24H of Le Mans. As part of the year-long festivities is the announcement of a concept car – Bentley EXP 100 GT – an experimental vehicle combining luxury and performance to define the future of Grand Touring.
Drawing from elemental design metaphors of Light, Air and Earth, this “Smart” car puts the preservation of its passengers and our world first.
As the first fully electric Bentley, it is a starting step towards a carbon-free future using new battery technologies, fuel cells and improved combustion/hybrid powertrains to ensure an exhilarating performance with minimal impact on the environment.
Bentley Design DNA
Bentley are determined that ‘Innovation’ doesn’t mean losing Bentley identity. For example, this is the first time they designed a 100% glass canopy cabin but the traditional dominant nose bonnet shape and Flying B remain.
The famous signature matrix grille still dominates the front, while integrating digital light sequences (6,000 LED bulbs), running through the spine to the rear of the long body.
The Bentley signature muscular haunch and rear negative scoop are still evident. In front, the classic Bentley round lights are familiar but with a very strong chin.
Finally, Bentley included one large ‘statement’ door.
The future buzz word is sustainability that Bentley engineers express with the most appropriate propulsion solution available. In the EXP 100 GT, the electric propulsion requires no rare earth materials for reduced emissions and softer environmental impact.
The Next Generation Traction Drive is 35% lighter and 50% more powerful for 300kph (186mph) top speed and the four motors allow maximum control through torque vectoring for sweeping around curves. The 1,500 Nm propulsion achieves 0 – 60 mph in 2.5 seconds.
Instead of adding more batteries and weight, Bentley used Solid State Battery technology for high charge density; reducing weight to 1,900 kg. Just 15 minutes plugged into a 500 KW charger provides 80% charge capacity. At full charge, the driving range is 700 Km (435 miles).
Light as a Material
Already adept with metal, wood and leather construction, Bentley are using Light as a precious fourth material. The large glass roof harvests natural light using prisms to project into the cabin via fibre optics.
The combination of harvested and sentient light will relieve drowsiness, ease motion sickness, boost serotonin, uplift, and nourish passengers. Light will consistently ripple through this concept car, leading the eye to the glowing main console. Users can change the ambience controlling light and shade settings.
“It is about connecting with the emotion,” explains John Paul Gregory, Head of Exterior Design at Bentley. “The idea is that you’ll want to get straight into the car and go on a journey.”
EXP 100 GT offers enhanced reality using AI to curate your journey according to your preferences for a highly personalised experience. Drive through a lavender field in Provence and you are surrounded by the scents of the flowers, providing an open top driving experience without ever having to remove the roof. Conversely, on polluted city streets, you are cocooned within a carefully controlled atmosphere.
The AI ‘Capture’ mode brings the outdoor environment, be it a sea breeze or forest aroma but protects you from dense traffic pollution and filtering out unwanted smells. The air purifier fills the cabin with clean air when passing through the countryside whilst unwanted air is recycled to aid aerodynamics. Scents are channeled in from outside, simulating an open top experience.
To Drive or Not to Drive?
Bentley partnered with Pirelli for tyres to ensure smooth journeys.
Autonomous mode is available so that you can let the car drive itself and relax with the seating adapting: either driver seat forward with steering wheel deployed or driver seat positioned rearward with steering wheel retracted. The Bentley Personal Assistant highlights points of interest, such as nearby luxury experiences or scenic routes. Fatigue is monitored to improve safety.
Bentley has no plans to build the EXP 100 GT in its current form. Owners and Enthusiasts can help shape the future of Bentley into their second century.
By providing your feedback on EXP 100 GT [Click SURVEY], Bentley hope to be ready for 2023….
Find out more about the Bentley EXP 100 GT [Click HERE]
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Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web magazine. He was former CEO of PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).