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Bentley has given us a vision into the brand’s future with the reveal of the EXP 100 GT Concept, a sleek, electric GT that previews not only the brand’s design direction but a new emphasis on sustainability too. Rather than a specific preview of an upcoming production model, the EXP 100 GT instead looks further ahead, envisaging what a flagship Bentley might look like in 2035. If this sounds far-fetched, it’s worth remembering that’s only two normal model cycles from now.
The EXP 100 GT’s powertrain is electric with solid-state battery technology, which differs from established tech such as lithium-ion batteries. This is due to a solid-state battery’s apparent longevity, proven by their use in pacemakers and wearables, and are expected to make their way to the next generation of electric cars. Bentley says there are four batteries in total, one powering each wheel, and in the process allows for full individual torque vectoring. Bentley claims the EXP 100 GT will reach 100kmph in 2.5sec, with a top speed of over 300kmph, but as these are merely projections of what might be feasible in 2035, there is no way of substantiating these claims.
Instead, the lessons to be learnt are in the concept’s design language and its ideology of what the future of grand touring might be. From that we can see, opulence and ostentation remain key elements of Bentley’s future. The core design starts with a new proportion set, one defined by the relatively short bonnet and generous rear overhang. This is combined with Bentley’s iconic haunches, and an even more generous take on its current surfacing technique, with a combination of crisp lines and rounded, muscular forms between them.
The stretched glasshouse and tapering tail exaggerate the EXP 100 GT’s rear overhang, forming what might well become a new design element synonymous with luxury car design in the future. Lagonda, Aston Martin’s forthcoming EV-only luxury brand, also portrays this technique. But we then approach the EXP 100 GT’s most dramatic aesthetic feature, namely the large headlights and grille graphic that have now been combined into a single interactive element that glows and waves lighting patterns across it. It’s a controversial element, but as Bentley sees this specific design as being a statement vehicle, it’s not surprising to see it on the edge of overdone.
The interior is equally extravagant, with a combination of what the brand calls “5000-year-old copperised reclaimed driftwood”, hand-cut crystal and more. Additionally, each material has been through a process of intense scrutiny in regards to its sustainability. The interior layout supports both autonomous and non-autonomous modes, but providing the ultimate grand touring experience remains the most important factor, as one might expect with a Bentley.
Will a Bentley in 2035 actually look like the EXP 100 GT though? Although we’re assured this it is only a look into the mid-term future, Bentley is known to be in the process of developing its first all-electric model, which will be revealed in the next two years. We also know that it will likely utilise the new Porsche-developed J1 platform used for the Taycan and e-Tron GT, which itself features a proportion set uncannily similar to that seen in this EXP 100 GT concept, probably due to the fact that they all come under the same VW umbrella. So perhaps this concept isn’t quite so far-fetched after all.