On 10 July 2019, 100 years to the day Bentley was founded, the marque unveiled a radically futuristic concept car. As the brand celebrates its centenary, Bentley looks to the future of luxury mobility with the EXP 100 GT, an all-electric and semi-autonomous temple on wheels.
Renowned for creating mile-munching grand tourers with 'adequate' power, the concept is an exercise by Bentley to bring back the joys of the open road. Whether the occupant decides to drive or be chauffered is their choice; should the driver want to take the wheel, their seat will move forward to within arm’s reach of the steering wheel as it glides out of its storage area.
The semi-autonomous car, Bentley imagines, will have a zero emissions all-electric powertrain capable of 700km before it needs recharging. An on-board electronic Bentley Personal Assistant will maximise comfort by monitoring occupants’ well-being (a particularly enticing proposition when driving through the fist-clenching scrum of central London), and providing them with curated viewing experiences. Navigating unknown lands, educational content displayed on the embedded digital interface within the car’s cabin provides a deeper understanding of unfamiliar environments.
Bentley's interior design team have incorporated ultra-luxury features, characteristic of the marque. Epitomising slow design and sustainable innovation, ancient Fenland Oaks that died standing in water as a result of flooding in the ancient high forests have been merged with threaded recycled copper. The door panels feature a type of embroidered cotton produced by Gainsborough Silk, a company with more than a century of experience in fabric production - and further stitchwork from Hand and Lock, the London-based firm that has produced royal and military dress uniforms since 1767. To top it all, Bentley claim that the car would have the cleanest cabin air of any vehicle in history.
There are no current plans to put the vehicle into production, but Bentley sources suggest a theoretical production date set for 2035. Let's hope the concept can become a reality.