Geneva Motor Show - It’s no secret Bentley is working on hybrid versions of current models; the Bentayga PHEV is due out in 2018.
But this pure electric concept, the EXP 12 Speed 6e, takes the brand a big step further into the future.
”Bentley is committed to offering an electric model in its future portfolio,” said chairman Wolfgang Dürheimer in his presentation at Palexpo, “and we are interested to receive feedback on this concept.”
Most electric cars don’t have a grille, but the monolithic front treatment is so much a part of Bentley’s DNA that the designers instead made it an element of the electric design language with 3D mesh and copper highlights over a big ‘6e’ logo that’s backlit in white when the car is running.
The Bentley heritage is also visible in the signature curve over the rear wheel-arch, while the two bonnet scoops act as heat sinks to help cool the batteries and powertrain.
The Speed 6e is designed for wireless inductive charging, but for when that’s not available, there’s a connection for a conventional charging cable concealed behind the rear number plate.
”Bentley’s vision is that high-speed inductive charging would provide a range sufficient for grand touring,“ said Dürheimer. “An electric Bentley should be able to drive from London to Paris, or from Milan to Monaco, on a single charge.”
The cabin combines state-of-the-art technology with beautiful materials, including copper elements around the gear selector, the dynamic drive dial and in the door veneer panels to emphasise that this is a pure electric car.
The whole centre stack is made from a single piece of curved glass that forms a high-definition organic-LED touchscreen. Almost all the car’s main functions are controlled from there, including navigation, entertainment and climate control. Your passenger, meanwhile, has their own control panel on the dashboard with access to social media, email and entertainment.
Cut-glass inserts on the steering wheel function as satellite switchgear for media, communications, navigation and car set-up, including two special buttons at the top, one giving an instant power boost, the other limiting speed to a pre-set value for use in urban areas. Best not to confuse them, we would say.