At the Brussels Salon in 2008, I spoke with Dirk Van Braekel, and already then I put him the following question: "As a great admirer of the styling of the vintage and classic Bentleys through the decades, which styling elements and icons of the "classic" Bentleys, would you like to maintain and integrate in the shapes of the future Bentleys?"
More than a year later, I spoke with Dr. Franz-Josef Paefgen, Bentley Motors Chairman and Chief Executive, at the Frankfurt motor show in 2009. There I almost repeated the question: "The Continental is typically a car where the Bentley driver recognises himself in, yet, when taking a long look at the 30’s Le Mans open tourers, one still would wish an even more compact, rugged Bentley…breathing the aura of strength and speed"
You can read it all in the columns on our site here , and I give you both links here, respectively for the interview in 2008, and the interview in 2009. One can then still enjoy the photos I added to these two interviews...
To sum it all up, I would greatly enjoy a more ruggedly styled Bentley, reminiscent of the robust but so sporting styling language of the impressive Bentley's of the 30's.
Well, here it is, looking at the EXP 10 Speed 6 at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show, this concept car bristles with iconic Bentley design cues. They are suggesting this rugged speed, and all this is in our eyes so much part of Bentley’s DNA, and the designers of the concept car all seem to agree...just look at the photos!
Hans Knol ten Bensel
"Classic" and iconic Bentley design details all over...
Just take a glance at the clocks and dials in the interior, this is well and truly "up our street", just as we like and want a modern Bentley to look.
Also, we love the copper elements which are used as accents to both exterior and interior features to highlight the performance hybrid potential of the concept’s advanced new powertrain.
Creating exciting contemporary ideas from classic starting points is evident across the car, from the new interpretation of the iconic Bentley matrix grille and four-round headlamps to the paint colour – a deeper, richer and heavily metallic version of British Racing Green.
Wolfgang Dürheimer, chairman and chief executive of Bentley Motors, comments:
“EXP 10 Speed 6 is one vision for Bentley’s future – a powerful, exquisite and individual concept. 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 sports car concept – but the potential Bentley sports car – a bold vision for a brand with a bold future.”
Latest technologies used to sculpt this Bentley...
Cutting-edge 3D metal printing technology has allowed the grille mesh, exhausts, door handles and side vents to be delivered with micro-scale design detail precision. The iconic Bentley mesh grille, for example, is no longer a flat plane of latticework but includes varying depth with a complex 3D geometry only visible when viewed at an angle. Bentley’s renowned quilted leather has inspired three dimensional texture to the precision glass of the headlamps.
The interior breathes core Bentley DNA...
Each detail has taken core Bentley interior DNA principles and moved them forwards. For example, the classic and purposeful Bentley knurled surface is a feature throughout the controls of the car, but is now created using steel and copper together to create a two-metal 3D texture.
Continuing the fusion of traditional materials and contemporary design statements, the doors of EXP 10 Speed 6 feature 3D quilting, milled directly in to solid straight-grain cherry wood. Each resulting diamond is finished with a copper centre.
The centre console integrates digital information with tactile controls via a curved touch screen housed in an aluminium frame. The fascia instruments deploy from a flat position into the drivers view as the car is started using the floating “B” button integrated in to a non-symmetrical gear lever finished in aluminium, copper and cherry wood.
A mechanical rev counter and digital display combine to provide the perfect balance of modern driver information and analogue beauty.
The rear interior space is divided into two compartments designed to house a specifically designed four-piece luggage set. Like the rest of the interior, the rear has been trimmed by the master craftsmen at Bentley in the highest quality Poltrona Frau leather.
It certainly is a wonderful and quite beautiful car, a true Bentley, which, in our opinion, we just hope it will see life alongside the Continental GT, as does also Wolfgang Dürheimer, chairman and chief executive of Bentley Motors...
Hans Knol ten Bensel