Future Models - Bentley 2020 EXP 12 Speed 6e
Geneva show: Bentley goes EV with Speed 6e
Bovine expression: Bentley’s Geneva show car interior is an ostentatious demonstration of what the world’s luxury car authority is capable of when it lets its hair down.
EXP 12 Speed 6e concept previews pure electric powertrains for Bentley
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8 March 2017
BENTLEY has reignited the excitement sparked by its jaw-dropping EXP 10 Speed 6
concept at the 2015 Geneva motor show, this time with a convertible version
dubbed the EXP 12 Speed 6e that also represents the company’s foray into pure
The reappearance of a small sportscar concept adds fuel to the theory that
Bentley is planning to introduce a new smaller sports model under the
Continental GT coupe and convertible, that could take the brand into new
markets for new audiences.
According to Bentley Motors chairman and CEO Wolfgang Duerhemier the concept is
not just a show pony and is intended to gauge the reaction of Bentley fans and
customers to the possibility of electrification and will be instrumental in the
company’s future line-up.
“The EXP 12 Speed 6e is a concept to show that Bentley is defining electric
motoring in the luxury sector, with the appropriate technology, high quality
materials and refinement levels you’d expect from a true Bentley,” he said.
“This concept enables us to engage with luxury customers and gather feedback on
our approach. Bentley is committed to offering an electric model in its future
portfolio and we are interested to receive feedback on this concept.”
Bentley has not offered any technical details relating specifically to the
Speed 6e concept but refers more generally to an electric model when it said
the adoption of electric drivetrains will not compromise the performance and
luxury customers expect from the flying-B badge.
According to the company, a zero emissions Bentley must be able to go from
London to Paris on a single charge – about 450km – and offer high-speed
inductive charging to allow even longer trips without inconveniencing the
In addition to the insight into the company’s electric intentions of the
future, Bentley says the Geneva show concept also allows a glimpse at its
future styling direction as well.
Aesthetics for the new concept differ little from the EXP 10 Speed 6 of two
years ago with only the obvious roof line and wheel design to set the two apart.
Like the coupe, the new convertible has the figure 6 stencilled on its large
grille, although the mesh is formed from a “complex 3D geometry” in place of
the coupe’s fencing wire.
Massive wheels have adopted a mesmerising design which uses a combination of
painted black sections and machined aluminium to create the illusion of
At the stern, the same tail-light and boot-less design is employed but the
combustion-powered coupe’s pair of oval exhausts have been replaced by more
inert slotted panels – possibly vents.
Rather than re-purposing the coupe’s fuel filler cap as a charge socket, the
EXP 12 Speed 6e has a charge socket concealed behind the rear registration
plate, for when inductive charging is not available.
On the inside, the concept takes opulence to a new level even by Bentley’s
class-leading standards with deep red wine analine leather applied to virtually
every surface, including the indicator stalks, steering column, sun visors,
A-pillars and tonneau cover.
For a distinctly aeronautical feel, the steering ‘wheel’ has been sectioned to
remove the upper part of the rim leaving space for a pair of thumb buttons on
each side. The buttons are decorated with a rocket symbol and allow an extra
boost of torque or to set a speed limit when in urban areas.
A central control organic LED touchscreen is displayed behind a single piece of
curved glass, while more cut glass is used for steering wheel sections and the
Intricate wood veneered panels cover the few sections of interior not
upholstered with hide, while a number of copper embellishments about the cabin
are a reference to the electrically conductive copper wire used extensively in
Bentley will dip its toe into production electrified vehicles next year when it
introduces a plug-in hybrid version of its Bentayga large SUV, but is yet to
confirm a date for arrival of its first pure electric vehicle.
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