Bad news for those who are quite fond of Bentley’s boxy standard fare: the Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 concept unveiled Monday at the Geneva Motor Show chucks all that out the window.
This is the first properly pretty Bentley in recent memory.
Of course, as Autoblog notes, it still has its share of recognizable familial styling cues; the massive rear haunches feel similar to sculpture that we’ve seen from the marque before, and the taillights recall those of the Continental GT, albeit far slimmer and more piercing. And of course, the grille retains its imposing shape and egg crate pattern.
But apart from those nods to its origins, the Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 concept recalls Aston Martin much more than it does Rolls Royce, the marque’s predecessor. The nose is more pointed and graceful than the typical Bentley; the hood has a thoroughly un-Bentley swoop to it; the doors feature sharp, angular recesses just back of the massive front wheel vents. Heck, even the car’s chair tally is decidedly un-Bentley (it’s a two-seater coupe, rather than a 2+2).
Inside the Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 concept, the un-Bentley appointments continue with 80 percent fewer mothballs per square-foot. The instrument cluster has gone digital, yet by some unknown sorcery, manages to maintain its elegance. The same can be said for the center console, which features a long, narrow touch screen interface with an upward slant near the dash for better visibility.
But all that isn’t to suggest that the Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 concept has lost sight of the marque’s knack for material supremacy; coffee-colored leather fits tightly around most touchable surfaces, with closely hue-matched wood trim wrapping in a continuous band around the doors and dash on either side of the dual-cockpit. The beautiful meditation on organic brown is punctuated sharply by exposed bits of polished metal, and more subtly by some black leather counterpoints. In short, the inside of this concept is every bit as tremendous as the outside.
We truly, deeply hope that the Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 goes into production, preferably under a different name. Failing that, it ought to at least help reshape Bentley’s styling sensibilities in the future; something this exquisite is just too good to waste.