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Geneva show: Concept previews Bentley's future

Speed demon: Bentley's EXP 10 Speed 6 concept previews the future styling direction of the iconic British luxury car-maker

Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 gives a glimpse at possible new entry level sportscar


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3 Mar 2015

BENTLEY has previewed its future design direction with its striking EXP 10 Speed 6 coupe concept that hints at a possible sub-Continental GT sportscar.

Unveiling the concept at the Geneva motor show, the Volkswagen Group-owned luxury car-maker described the EXP 10 Speed 6 as a “British interpretation of a high-performance two-seater sportscar”, suggesting that Bentley could build it as a competitor to the likes of the Mercedes-AMG GT, Porsche 911 and high-end versions of the Jaguar F-Type.

Bentley Motors chairman and chief executive Wolfgang Dürheimer said the sleek coupe could be more than just a show car, but stopped short of confirming it for production.

“EXP 10 Speed 6 is one vision for Bentley’s future – a powerful, exquisite and individual concept,” he said. “The showcar has the potential to be the new pinnacle luxury two-seat sports car. It offers thrilling, driver-oriented performance, complete with trademark modern Bentley luxury and effortlessness.

“It could be a future model line, alongside the Continental GT and redefining the pinnacle of another market sector, and the styling of the EXP 10 Speed 6 could influence the expansion of the Bentley family.

“This is not just a new sportscar concept – but the potential Bentley sports car – a bold vision for a brand with a bold future.” Bentley Motors Limited Asia Pacific head of marketing and communications Robin Peel told GoAuto that the car-maker always produces vehicles for most major markets, but reiterated the model's concept status.

“Bentley has always built cars that are available in all our global markets, and have no plans to change this for future models,” he said.

“However ... this is a concept car which is signalling a potential direction for luxury and performance. As ever with a concept car, we will now evaluate all feedback, which I am sure will be very forthcoming, before any decisions are made.”

The EXP 10 Speed 6 also continues the somewhat confusing naming structure Bentley uses for its concepts that started with the EXP 9 F SUV concept in 2012.

The British car-maker says the exterior design was inspired by shapes of an aircraft's wings and fuselage, and that the ethos was to create a modern interpretation of Bentley styling cues. This can be seen in the use of the four circular headlamps found on all Bentley models and the new take on the matrix grille.

Even the colour, a “deeper, richer and heavily metallic” version of British Racing Green, references the brand's past.

Featuring short front overhangs and a sculpted body, the Bentley concept carries deep character lines on each side flowing from the air outlets just behind the front fenders, while a prominent shoulder line lifts up from behind the door, continuing to the tail.

The EXP 10 Speed 6 has a low, wide stance that the company says “hints at high speed potential of the car,” and the number six can clearly be seen through the grille.

Three-dimensional metal printing was used to create the grille mesh, exhausts, side vents and door handles, while 3D detailing continues with the depth of the grille and the headlights that feature a quilted design, referencing Bentley's quilted leather trim.

The quilting is featured in the cabin on the sports seats which are separated by a narrow centre console that houses driver controls and a curved 12-inch touchscreen surrounded with aluminium.

More quilting can be found on the doors of the concept, with 3D quilting milled into the solid straight-grain cherry wood with a copper centre, while the fascia instruments shift from a flat position to face the driver when the 'B' button on the gear lever is pressed.

The rear of the coupe has been split into two sections to house a specifically designed four-piece luggage set. Like the front section, the rear is finished in Poltrona Frau leather.

Bentley has not revealed any performance figures for the concept, but it has confirmed it has a new hybrid powertrain that looks set to “challenge competitors and define a new segment benchmark”.

The next production-ready Bentley will be the premium car-maker's first SUV, dubbed Bentayga, that is set to be revealed later this year.

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