Bentley Speed 6 concept unveiled

Surprise Bentley EXP10 concept shows new interior style in a strangely familiar body.

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(Photo: Eric Becker)

Bentley caused a stir at Geneva by introducing its latest concept, codenamed: EXP10 “Speed 6.” Our first sight of the new car was of those distinctive ringed-lights as the two-seater emerged from the darkness. Company boss, Wolfgang Dürheimer introduced the concept as “the ultimate expression of our vision for Bentley’s future.”

As the low coupé slunk into view, to approving nods from the crowd, the idea of a more focused, light-weight sports car, invoking the Speed 6 name of Bentley’s early days, makes a lot of sense – especially as the company approaches its centenary. At last, Bentley has a car that could take on Aston Martin on level terms.

Just how level those terms are became clear when the demonstrator came to a stop on stage.  Behind the questionable Bentley face, reminiscent of the Bentley Hunaudieres Concept, the side profile is carbon-copy Aston Martin. As elegant as it is, the credibility of EXP10 as a bold vision for Bentley crumbled slightly when Dürheimer opened the swan-door – almost an Aston Martin trade-mark.

So the Speed 6 is essentially Bentley’s version of the Aston Martin Vanquish. With that in mind, we can then begin to look at the details and see just how Bentley does it. The meshgrille design is carried into the headlights with an intricate lattice effect which shows how much time and attention has been lavished on this show car. From some angles a faint number six is visible on the grille – a nod to the Le Mans racers of bygone days.  At the back end, Bentley’s oval brake lights take on a projector-style design, mirroring the exhaust pipes, and creating an elegant back end which is identifiably (if not unmistakably) Bentley.

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(Photo: Eric Becker)

Inside, however, the Speed 6 is in a class of its own. The materials are, as you’d expect, the finest available, and the wood design on the door inserts, alone, demonstrates Bentley is showing geniune creativity. In many ways the spectacular interior is far more “Bentley” than the exterior and will, more likely, be the lasting legacy of the Speed 6 show-car. Bentley haven’t revealed any performance figures, or prices, but mumblings at the Geneva show hint that it could form the basis of an entry level two-seater Bentley.

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