You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept: Car Design Interview

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 5/26/2015 Paul Horrell

The Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 concept car came out of the Geneva show and went straight into a program for market research. Bentley is seriously investigating its potential as a fifth model line for about 2018. "When the Bentayga SUV is executed [in 2016], the engineers can jump to the next product," says CEO Wolfgang Durheimer. The EXP 10 is a smaller, lighter, and sportier car than the Continental GT. "But not cheaper," Durheimer says.

Research

We spoke with Sang Yup Lee, Bentley's head of exterior and advanced design. Lee, 42, was previously at VW's California studio and before that designed the Camaro at GM. He says the EXP 10 is a continuation of a long-cherished dream at Bentley's design department. "It was a skunkworks project at first, and then we showed the idea to management, and they approved."

It might be smaller than the Continental GT, but Bentley is not making claims it would be a flyweight. "Our heritage is weight, but it's also torque and luxury," Lee says. "Now we want to develop a sports car against the AMG GT and Aston Martin Vantage. It would still be the most luxurious car among them. But we want kids to have a poster of a Bentley on their walls. If you don't love this at first sight, it hasn't worked. The Bentley brand design has been very safe. Now we want to push forward, both in form language and in detail execution."

Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept© Provided by MotorTrend Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept © Provided by MotorTrend He points out the shallow execution of the traditional Bentley grille and its complex 3-D metal-printed rendering. Having two round headlamps on each side of the grille is a Bentley fixture, Lee says, but he struck a new note here. He has me crouch in front of the car, and from that angle they appear perfectly circular. But seen from higher or from the quarter view, they stretch into ovals. "It gives you something to discover," Lee says. Inside, the glass is engraved in spiraling diamond outlines. "We call them whiskey glasses," Lee smiles.

We want kids to have a poster of a Bentley on their walls

Around the sides of the car, between the two sharply drawn lines that emerge from the skin at door handle and sill height, there's a third, much softer positive volume, which he says makes it look lighter. At the tail, the lights clusters are pure ovals to match the tailpipes. "Before, we always had the lit ovals in rectangular lights," Lee says.

© Provided by MotorTrend© Provided by MotorTrend More diamond patterns reside inside the cabin, including Bentley's trademark quilted seat leather. A similar texture on the door panels is actually carved out of solid cherrywood, with little rivets of copper at the intersections of each diamond outline. The center console and the "wings" above the dash float above the main structure, bringing an appearance of elegant lightness.

Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept: Car Design Interview

"It's not some La La Land concept," Lee says. The general shape and proportions of the EXP 10 are realistic, as are the door apertures and interior package. Bentley is saying nothing official about a drivetrain yet, but "it could be a hybrid drive, for torque," Lee says. "And the benefit of being in the Volkswagen Group is we can get platform parts." Clearly Lee has thought about feasibility. Durheimer has too, of course, and indicates it would use, in whole or part, the next-gen Porsche Panamera platform.

Want more on the Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 concept? Learn about what the concept really means in this blog from Angus MacKenzie.Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept© Provided by MotorTrend Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept© Provided by MotorTrend Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept

© Provided by MotorTrend
AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Motor Trend

Loading...

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon