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.
Other than saying the EXP 12 Speed 6e would be capable of driving from London to Paris (or Monaco to Milan) in a single charge Bentley has released no information about its concept car’s powertrain. That’s sensible; electric power is evolving at such a fast pace that any specification would be out of date by the time a production model was released. But electric power makes a great deal of sense for Bentley; its founder, W.O. was famously obsessed with torque and with refinement. An electric motor produces 100% of maximum torque at zero revs and converts power to forward motion at a level of efficiency the internal combustion engine can never attain. Electric motors can deliver high performance with ease, but the challenge is storing the power; batteries are heavier and less energy-dense than a tankful of unleaded. This picture is changing all the time, and Bentley’s EXP 12 concept does at least envisage rapid induction charging, with no need to mess around with cables and three-pin plugs.
As with any concept car, the aim is to garner feedback from potential customers. So while you can’t order your electric Bentley yet, if you’d like to do so one day, let our sales team know and we’ll pass the word to Crewe.