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Geneva 2017: Bentley goes electric with EXP 12 Speed 6e EV concept

Geneva 2017: Bentley goes electric with EXP 12 Speed 6e EV concept image

Marcus De Guzman / Newspress, Bentley | March 09, 2017 10:59

Bentley previews electric future with EXP 12 Speed 6e concept

Future Bentley models may soon be powered by electricity so it seems after the automaker arrived at 87th Geneva International Motor Show with a unique concept. Called the EXP 12 Speed 6e, the all-electric concept is a two-seater soft-top that previews the brand's plan to deliver luxury to the electric vehicle (EV) segment.

“The EXP 12 Speed 6e is a concept to show that Bentley is defining electric motoring in the luxury sector, with the appropriate technology, high quality materials and refinement levels you’d expect from a true Bentley. This concept enables us to engage with luxury customers and gather feedback on our approach,” said Wolfgang Durheimer, chairman and CEO of Bentley Motors.

Geneva 2017: Bentley goes electric with EXP 12 Speed 6e EV concept

Immediately apparent on the EXP 12 Speed 6e is that it takes styling cues from the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept that was unveiled two years prior. According to Bentley, the unique design actually previews the future design direction of the brand. Up front, it gets the signature mesh grill that comes with a 6e logo that glows when the car is running. Meanwhile, the muscular wheel arches, large alloy wheels and sculpted hood highlight the car's athletic stance.

Also unique in the EXP 12 Speed 6e are its side mirrors which now have cameras instead of glass. Since it has no internal combustion engine, it has a clean rear bumper free of exhaust pipes. It also allowed Bentley to install rear vents on the bumper itself, while also giving the trunklid some minor revisions. To preserve the convertible's clean lines, Bentley stowed the charging point just behind the rear license plate holder.

Inside the Bentley EXP 12 Speed 6e EV

Inside, Bentley claimed they were able to blend cutting-edge technology and finely-crafted materials for a luxuriously appointed cabin. First off, the steering wheel has handmade cut-glass sections that operate media, communication, navigation and in-car settings. It even has two buttons that can limit the car's speed or boost overall performance.

The center console was hewn from one solid piece of curved glass and features an OLED screen. The system manages and controls almost all of the car's features including navigation, entertainment and climate control. The seats, on the other hand, are upholstered in red leather, as well as certain sections of the interior like the dashboard, door cards and piping.

A closer look at the Bentley EXP 12 Speed 6e's rear quarters

Bentley did not say, however, as to how much power the EXP 12 Speed 6e produces.

The Crewe-based automaker did say that this is a significant step in producing luxury cars powered by alternative means. In fact, Bentley mentioned that they will soon introduce plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) models across the range over the next few years. The first car that will receive it will apparently be the Bentayga.