The name is a bit of a mouthful, but EXP 12 Speed 6e is the 12th experimental Bentley (the line started in 1919 with EXP 1) and a Speed 6, which means it could slot into a future Bentley range below the current Continental GT family. That lower case ‘e’ in 6e signifies electric power; this is the first time that Bentley has shown an electric concept vehicle.
In design it’s closely related to the EXP 10 Speed Six coupé that Bentley unveiled at Geneva in 2015. Powertrain aside, the biggest difference between the two is that the EXP 12 is a convertible, and to many eyes its pure lines are even more appealing. A straightforward two seater, the design is clean and dramatic with short front and rear overhangs, giving it a taut and muscular look. Deep bonnet scoops channel help cool the battery and electric motor, while the scalloped side profile leads to the signature Bentley ‘haunch’ over the rear wheel.
Inside, Bentley’s designers have given free rein to their imagination. Handmade glass sections on the steering wheel control media, communications, sat nav and driving modes. The steering wheel is an aircraft-style yoke, and the centre console is a single piece of curved glass housing a high-definition OLED screen. Referencing the electric powertrain, there are copper elements in the door panels and around the drive selector, while the signature Bentley mesh grille also features copper accents. One neat touch we hope makes it to production; a playful ‘rocketship’ motif on the performance boost button.