The Bentley Exp 12 Speed 6e concept is an all-electric grand tourer that looks the part. Especially if you like red leather. But what else makes it tick?
Geneva Motor Show 2017: When you think of Bentley, luxury is probably high up on the list and maybe the gigantic engines that power them. But if there is one thing you would probably never think of, it is eco-friendliness.
Yet here we are looking at Bentley’s latest and cleanest concept, unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show 2017. A car that manages to represent everything that makes the brand stand out, except there is no V8 or W12 petrol guzzler underneath the runway-sized bonnet.
What’s under the Exp 12 Speed 6e’s bonnet?
Instead, it uses an undisclosed all-electric powertrain that makes it is as green as it gets once it has left the factory. Multiple motors seem likely as that has the potential to provide all-wheel, explosive performance and a very large torque figure.
The plan is to give it a range capable of travelling from London to Paris, Milan or Monaco on one charge, which is a bold claim. But then Bentley makes grand tourers and so it needs to make a grand tour possible.
Spending 30 minutes charging your car mid-way is, after all, somewhat detrimental to the spirit of get up and go. But then if you can afford this car, you can probably make a lunch stop more lavish than a motorway service sandwich.
What about the Exp 12 Speed 6e range?
It is unclear if Bentley can make a car with such a range (the distance is around 450km or 279 miles) but then its cars are vast and heavy enough to house a Tesla-sized battery without too much fuss.
Plus Bentley will, of course, be getting some practice from a plug-in hybrid car due in 2018.
Bentley chairman Wolfgang Durheimer told Bloomberg that he wants to make a car that avoids looking “like a refrigerator” and that electric vehicles can be “sexy” and “emotional”.
Whatever the all-electric Bentley comes up with, the desire to make something fully electric has been set in stone and with emissions regulations likely to tighten further we may have to get used to a world with fewer 6.0-litre engines.
That is a bit of a sad thought but then the Exp 12 Speed 6e Concept does more than show a future devoid of the roar of an engine, it shows electric can be just as desirable.