Bentley has pulled the covers off an electric show car in Geneva - the EXP 12 Speed 6e concept.
Sharing its ambition to ‘define the electric luxury segment’, the all-electric EXP 12 Speed 6e concept delivers ‘quality, refinement’ with the high performance levels expected from Bentley.
Continuing on from 2015’s EXP 10 Speed 6 concept seen in Geneva - which was a high performance two seater powered by an advanced hybrid powertrain - the EXP 12 Speed 6e droptop combines new high performance technology such as rapid inductive charging and ‘state-of-the-art’ on board concierge-style services. Bentley says its vision is for the inductive charging is to provide a range sufficient for grand touring requirements; for example, allowing customers to drive between London and Paris or Milan and Monaco on a single charge.
A blend of ‘cutting-edge technology and beautiful materials’ are evident throughout EXP 12 Speed 6e’s cabin. The entire central console, for example, is hewn from a solid piece of elegantly curved glass encompassing a high-definition OLED screen. All of the car’s principle onboard controls are accessible from here, including navigation, entertainment and climate control.
Handmade, cut-glass sections on the cut-away steering wheel contain the controls for media, communications, navigation and car set-up. There are also two buttons at the top of the steering wheel, one offering an instant performance boost and the other the ability to limit speed, in urban areas for example. The passenger, meanwhile, has their own control panel on the front fascia with access to social media, email and entertainment.
Copper elements around the gear selector, the 'Bentley Dynamic Drive' dial and in the door veneer panels are integrated into the cabin to highlight the electric performance potential of the concept’s advanced new powertrain.
On the outside, the Bentley mesh grille features a complex 3D geometry and ‘smoked’ finish with copper highlights that identify the EXP 12 Speed 6e as a fully electric vehicle. When the car is running the ‘6e’ logo illuminates in a bright, vibrant white.
The exterior echo’s the EXP 10’s ‘muscular, athletic surfaces’ inspired by the aerodynamic shapes of aircraft fuselages. The short front overhangs, long bonnet, low grille and wide rear styling hints at the high-performance potential of the car, says Bentley. Twin bonnet scoops act as highly effective heat sinks that supply additional cooling to the battery and powertrain. The wing mirrors – which are cameras rather than traditional reflective glass – are sleek and inspired by the sculptural form of stealth aircraft fuselages.
When rapid inductive charging is not available, the EXP 12 Speed 6e can be connected to a mains AC power supply via the auxiliary charging point, concealed behind the rear number plate.
Bentley says that the concept will open discussions with luxury car buyers of the future – millennials, members of Generation C and the rising affluent in developing economies - to 'understand the desired expectations from a future electric luxury car ownership experience'.
The luxury brand's electric car strategy will include the introduction of PHEV models across the range over the next few years, starting with the Bentayga in 2018.