Automotive

Bentley explores new territory with EXP 10 Speed 6 concept

Bentley explores new territory...
Bentley's EXP 10 Speed 6 concept debuts at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Bentley's EXP 10 Speed 6 concept debuts at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Bentley shows its vision for a two-seat performance sports car (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Bentley shows its vision for a two-seat performance sports car (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The EXP 10 Speed 6 was one of the surprise debuts of the Geneva Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The EXP 10 Speed 6 was one of the surprise debuts of the Geneva Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Bentley may be adding an EXP 10 Speed 6-based sports car to its future lineup (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Bentley may be adding an EXP 10 Speed 6-based sports car to its future lineup (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Bentley's EXP 10 Speed 6 concept debuts at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Bentley's EXP 10 Speed 6 concept debuts at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Bentley's EXP 10 Speed 6 concept debuts at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Bentley's EXP 10 Speed 6 concept debuts at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Though it's smaller and sharper than the average Bentley, the Crewe design shines through in the muscular haunches (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Though it's smaller and sharper than the average Bentley, the Crewe design shines through in the muscular haunches (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Copper highlights, as seen on the brake calipers, hint at gas-electric power at the helm (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Copper highlights, as seen on the brake calipers, hint at gas-electric power at the helm (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The EXP 10 Speed 6 concept wears new headlight and mesh grille design treatments (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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The EXP 10 Speed 6 concept wears new headlight and mesh grille design treatments (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Bentley experiments with a small sports car at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Bentley experiments with a small sports car at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
The mesh grille reveals a semi-hidden "6"
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The mesh grille reveals a semi-hidden "6"
The EXP 10 Speed 6 was Bentley's big debut in Geneva, which means the Bentayga SUV will make its debut at a future show
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The EXP 10 Speed 6 was Bentley's big debut in Geneva, which means the Bentayga SUV will make its debut at a future show
Packaging Bentley's performance-tuned powertrains into a smaller, lighter car is an exciting proposition
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Packaging Bentley's performance-tuned powertrains into a smaller, lighter car is an exciting proposition
Bentley has painted the EXP 10 in a deep green inspired by classic British Racing Green
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Bentley has painted the EXP 10 in a deep green inspired by classic British Racing Green
The Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6
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The Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6
The Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6
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The Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6
The headlamps are an update of the four-rounds worn by the Continental GT
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The headlamps are an update of the four-rounds worn by the Continental GT
The Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6
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The Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6
The oblong tailpipes match the taillights
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The oblong tailpipes match the taillights
The Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6
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The Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6
The Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6
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The Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6
In addition to a new body style, Bentley uses the EXP 10 to explore a more technologically-focused interior
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In addition to a new body style, Bentley uses the EXP 10 to explore a more technologically-focused interior
No seats in back, but the EXP 10 Speed 6 accommodates a matching luggage set
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No seats in back, but the EXP 10 Speed 6 accommodates a matching luggage set
The body shape may seem unfamiliar, but the interior is all Bentley
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The body shape may seem unfamiliar, but the interior is all Bentley
The EXP 10 includes a large infotainment touchscreen
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The EXP 10 includes a large infotainment touchscreen
Inside the EXP 10 Speed 6
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Inside the EXP 10 Speed 6
Bentley's EXP 10 Speed 6 concept debuts at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
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Bentley's EXP 10 Speed 6 concept debuts at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
View gallery - 26 images

With the Bugatti 16C Galibier a distant memory, the Continental GT from VW sibling Bentley remains the pinnacle of supercar-level performance blended masterfully with ultra-premium grand touring elegance. But what if you sacrificed two seats of that touring luxury for more all-out, track-painting performance? You'd have the all-new EXP 10 Speed 6, a concept two-seat sports car that paves the way for a sportier Crewe future.

In addition to updating the Continental GT family, Bentley revealed the EXP 10 Speed 6 as a surprise debut at the Geneva Motor Show. A new two-seat concept debut had been whispered about in the auto press, but Bentley didn't mention it officially until the car's debut on the night before the official start of the show.

Bentley calls the EXP 10 Speed 6 a "British interpretation of a high performance two seater sportscar using modern automotive design, highly skilled handcrafting, the finest materials and advanced performance technology." Indeed, the car looks like a sports coupe that could have been conceived across the Queen's island at Aston Martin headquarters, thanks to its flat face, concave rear-end, and sloped cabin set behind large, swooping hood.

It's the concept's profile that adds a big helping of Bentley signature style, with its powerful, big-cat-like fenders tying it to the familiar look of the Continental GT. The design exercise also reinterprets classic Continental GT styling cues like the four-round headlamps and matrix grille. The grille hides a subtle "6" that pops into view when looked at from certain angles and light conditions.

Bentley shows its vision for a two-seat performance sports car (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)
Bentley shows its vision for a two-seat performance sports car (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)

Also of visual interest are the stretched-oval taillamps that sit over top dual exhaust tips of the same shape. The paint color is a new twist on classic British Racing Green, a metallic treatment that gives the car a deep, shiny presence.

Unfortunately, Bentley doesn't specify what type of powertrain the EXP 10 Speed 6 uses to make good on the power and speed promised by the compact, muscular body. However, it looks as though Crewe is looking beyond simply dropping a Continental GT W12 and/or V8 under the hood, saying that the copper highlights of the exterior and interior hint at the "performance hybrid potential of the concept’s advanced new powertrain." Performance specs would be utterly meaningless without a specific powertrain to tie them to, but Bentley promises that the EXP 10 Speed 6 would "challenge competitors and define a new segment benchmark."

The interior is every bit as intriguing as the exterior, and not just because of its lack of rear seats. The leather-trimmed structural perimeter that wraps around each occupant, beginning at the strong center console, extending around the upper dashboard, and sweeping across the upper edge of each door, gives the cabin the feel of cozy driver and passenger pods. The left pod/right pod-delineating console plays home to a curved 12-in infotainment and controls touchscreen, as well as the shifter. The instrument panel lifts into driver's view from flat position when the driver punches the B-shaped ignition button and shows a classic needled rev counter beside a digital display.

In addition to a new body style, Bentley uses the EXP 10 to explore a more technologically-focused interior
In addition to a new body style, Bentley uses the EXP 10 to explore a more technologically-focused interior

Bentley dresses its technologically-advanced cabin with its usual meticulous craftsmanship, using a combination of quilted brown leather, straight-grain cherry wood, and knurled steel-and-copper controls. Two specially developed compartments in back are designed to accommodate the matching four-piece luggage set, ensuring that the smaller Bentley doesn't lose all of its touring capability.

Indications are that the EXP 10 Speed 6 is more than just a surprise show car. It seems likely to find its way to production, where it would give Bentley a fifth model line, joining the Continental GT, Mulsanne, Flying Spur and upcoming Bentayga SUV.

"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," says Bentley chief Wolfgang Dürheimer. "This is not just a new sports car concept – but the potential Bentley sports car – a bold vision for a brand with a bold future."

Source: Bentley

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4 comments
Geoff Lemon
Oh, it looks positively ghastly. When can I move in?
Keith Reeder
How was this deigned - a photo of an Aston Martin and a piece of tracing paper?
steveraxx
Males with too much money and no aesthetic sense already have plenty of choices for ugly though obscenely too expensive vehicles.
Keith Reeder
Your head must be a grim and depressing place to live in, steveraxx...