My Car Quest

October 24, 2019

Bentley’s Electric Coupe – The EXP 100 GT Concept Car

More elegant than a Tesla but maybe it will hit the market at 8 times the price…

by Wallace Wyss –

The EXP 100 GT is Bentley’s latest concept car. They are talking of this for the year 2035 but I think it’s 2025 if they want to get it on the market as the next generation coupe.

Bentley EXP 100 GT

It has a vague look of the present Continental GT up front but then makes for new shapes. It is a full time electric, not a hybrid, with a range of 440 miles. It is sad that a firm famous for their internal combustion engines has to think of going all electric but one market area is China who may have a law coming up requiring all new vehicles to be zero emission. So Bentley has to think of whether to get in on this market or cut itself off from one market after another by failing to modernize.

Bentley EXP 100 GT

It has an electric powertrain dubbed Next Generation Traction Drive that uses four 201-335 bhp electric motors and an advanced torque vectoring system to distribute a combined output of between 800 and 1340 bhp to all four wheels, depending on spec.

Tesla showed us electric cars can be fast and the top speed of 186 mph for this one shows at least it has the Bentley trait of performance. Anticipating other future laws, it is designed to be fully autonomous as well as driven by a driver.

DESIGN ANALYSIS

FRONT: The role of headlights was already pushing the envelope with the last EXP 100 Bentley show car but this one goes overboard into full-on glitz. The headlights are so dazzling (even when not turned on) that they distract you from the rest of the car. The texture of the grille is also unnecessarily distracting. And OMG, they messed with the Flying ‘B’ whose wings are now flattened out horizontally.

Bentley EXP 100 GT

Bentley EXP 100 GT Logo

SIDE: Roofline vaguely reminiscent of a ’70s Buick boat-tail Riviera. Nice fender flaring and body sculpturing but the tapered upswept tail reminds me of the E-type Jag of more than a half century ago. McLaren recently also made a long tail model so it may be that long pointy tails are coming back?

Bentley EXP 100 GT

Fortunately that appears to be an under tray funneling airflow to prevent lift–one inherent flaw of a tail tapered top and bottom. The car has flip up doors. I don’t see a place to roll down the side glass, which would give me claustrophobia.

REAR: Very conventional–those taillights don’t look Bentley–they could be out of a GM parts bin. The two tone roof is unusual–have to see how that works with different colors if this design gets green lighted for production.

Bentley EXP 100 GT

INTERIOR: Like the Cadillac Ciel show car of a few years back, it looks like some interior designer who really wanted to show his chops as a furniture designer got to have his way. On the other hand since it is an electric car, there’s probably not much to supervise, no rev counter, no water temp gauge. The car might as well be comfortable to relax in. The press releases are crafted to appeal to nature lovers as they point out the wood is what they call “infused wood,” something about wood sitting around for 5,000 years, wood from trees that have “naturally fallen.” At last I don’t have to feel guilty anymore about liking wood in cars, as there will be no Bentley axeman cutting fresh trees on my account.

Bentley EXP 100 GT

IN SUM: Glad to see a fresh body shape, breaking loose from the present Continental. I think the interior needs to be brought back into being more like a driver’s car and the previous Bentley EXP was more what you expect. But on the other hand, if in full autonomous mode, we are allowed to fully recline, why not make full recliner seats (assuming we won’t need the driver to be ready at all times to assume the role of “emergency driver”) And pul-eeze come up with tailights that look Bentley-ish, whatever that is…

Bentley EXP 100 GT

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

 
 
 
 
THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is the author of 18 automotive histories. His “day job” is devising strategy for a thoroughbred horse operation.

 
 
 
 

 

 

Photos: Bentley

Bentley Logo

Summary
Bentley's Electric Coupe - The EXP 100 GT Concept Car
Article Name
Bentley's Electric Coupe - The EXP 100 GT Concept Car
Description
The latest Bentley concept car, the EXP 100 GT, is something else.
Author

Comments

  1. SKIP HINOJOS says

    I LIKE EVERYTHING BUT THE GRILLE. THREE TIMES TOO BIG.

  2. wallace wyss says

    But the grille is the “face” of a car. Look at the Tesla, no grille, it looks like some Teslas are still coverd in the nose by a shipping covering. However, you’re right, the Bentley grille is too large by at least 50% in my opinion.

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