It looks fantastic, features stong powertrain specs, and comes with a super-smart AI system

This is perhaps the best birthday celebration we have seen in recent times. The general trend on any birthday is to go back in time and celebrate the most iconic moments from history. But instead, Bentley decided to give us peek into its future on its 100th birthday. What is it, you ask? It’s what the company’s future looks like and where it sees itself in the next 15 years. Bentley unveiled the EXP 100 GT concept in Crewe, England, to commemorate the milestone. If this is what the future looks like, we are in safe hands.

It Looks Futuristic While Retaining The Bentley Essence

Bentley previews its future with the EXP 100 GT Concept
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The EXP 100 GT is a fully autonomous, electric posh grand tourer. That sums it up well.

Although it looks like something out of a sci-fi movie, the automaker has managed to give it 'Bentley' vibes quite well.

Upfront, the huge illuminated mesh grille is made up of 6,000 LEDs that complement the round headlights well. The EXP 100 GT is 5.7 meters long and 2.4 meters wide. To put things into perspective, this car is nearly half-a-meter longer and much wider than the new Flying Spur, but looks quite proportionate for a two-door car. The grille, like the "stand-out" Bentley motif, lights up when the driver approaches the car. This is a tribute to the Blower Bentley from the 1920s. Bentley has managed to keep the weight low by using lightweight aluminum and carbon fiber components on the body. As for the doors, they open in a scissor fashion. To add more pizzazz to the sexy exterior, Bentley says the EXP 100 GT is configurable with aerodynamic wheels and ’intelligent’ Pirelli tires, whatever that is. The rear has a long overhang and features OLED lights.

Is This The President’s Suite?

Bentley previews its future with the EXP 100 GT Concept
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On the inside, Bentley has used natural materials, including 5,000-year-old copper-infused Riverwood. Bentley has made sure its efforts of the EXP 100 GT as a ’green’ car are more than evident.

The automaker says that all the car's ingredients are to help create a sustainable luxury future.

The leather used inside is created from byproducts of wine making. The center console is made of Cumbrian crystal. The door panels wear soft wool carpets and embroidered cotton interior surfaces sourced from local farms. An air purification system is installed in the trunk that cleans the air before it infiltrates the cabin. The air vents undulate themselves to make it appear as though they are breathing. To top it all off, Bentley has developed a unique scent for this car, which is basically a blend of sandalwood and fresh moss.

That’s A Little Too Much AI For My Liking

Bentley previews its future with the EXP 100 GT Concept
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From the technology point-of-view, the Bentley EXP 100 GT, quite literally, belongs to the next generation.

The British automaker has tied Crystal in with the onboard AI. The AI system helps the passengers by monitoring the mood with biometrics, even detecting the blood pressure. Furthermore, it can alter the amount of light in the cabin, the temperature, and other settings. There are five other distinct modes that the AI system has to understand the occupants and make them comfortable. ‘Enhance’ harvests input from outside to create an open-top feeling inside. ‘Cocoon’ enforces a protective, private space. ‘Capture’ records moments and builds its unique identity from both inside and outside the car. ‘Re-live’ replays these highlights, and ‘Customise’ combines all or some of the modes specifically for the user.

Four-Digit Power Figures!

Bentley previews its future with the EXP 100 GT Concept
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If you thought the Bentley EXP 100 GT was all about opulence and elegance, you were wrong. It has the powertrain specs to put the best electric cars to shame. Called the ’Next Generation Traction Drive’, the powertrain develops immense power outputs. Each wheel is attached to an electric motor that makes between 204 and 340 horses, depending on the trim. This means that the EXP 100’s total output is between 816 and 1360 horses. An advanced torque vectoring system helps distribute the combined output between all the four wheels. It also makes 1,106 pound-feet of torque. Thanks to these specs, Bentley says the EXP 100 GT should be able to sprint from a standstill to 60 mph in under 2.5 seconds and will go all the way up to 186 miles per hour.

Despite these monstrous figures, the car will be able to travel 435 miles on a single charge. The British automaker also says that it can regain up to 80-percent power in just 15 minutes through fast charging. If you were to compare these specs to a corresponding model from the present-day market, the EXP 100 GT is around 35-percent lighter than a car with similar capabilities. Coupled with the strong aerodynamics, you should be able to push this car in any condition with ease. Like I mentioned earlier, the car is fully autonomous, but can be driven manually as well.

Bentley previews its future with the EXP 100 GT Concept
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Bentley EXP 100 GT Concept specifications
Engine Next Generation Traction Drive
Horsepower 816-1,360 HP
Torque 1,500 Nm (1,106 lb-ft)
Range 700 km (435 miles)
0 to 60 mph 2.5 seconds
Top Speed 300 kph (186 mph)

What They Had To Say

Bentley previews its future with the EXP 100 GT Concept
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Stefan Sielaff, Director of Design, Bentley, said, “The EXP 100 GT is a canvas for what makes the future of luxury. It represents the kind of cars we want to make in the future. Like those iconic Bentleys of the past, this car connects with its passengers’ emotions and helps them experience and safeguard the memories of the really extraordinary journeys they take.”

Final Thoughts

Bentley previews its future with the EXP 100 GT Concept
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Bentley is not planning to build the EXP 100 GT in this form. But, can we expect something on these lines in the future? Bentley unveiled this and announced that we can expect a model like this to debut in the year 2035. This car is out-of-the-world in terms of specs, features, and technology. All this sounds fun for now, but with stuff like blood pressure monitoring, mood analyzers, etc., one thing is clear - AI systems will invade us, and it is scary. Nevertheless, let’s wait and watch what the future holds for humanity. What are your thoughts on this stunning creation by Bentley on its 100th anniversary? Share them with us in the comments section below.

Further reading

2018 Bentley Continental GTC
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Read our full review on the 2018 Bentley Continental GT Convertible.

2018 Bentley Continental GT High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 728790

Read our full review on the 2018 Bentley Continental GT.

2017 Bentley EXP 12 Speed 6e Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 727641

Read our full review on the 2017 Bentley EXP 12 Speed 6e Concept.

2015 Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 High Resolution Exterior
- image 619492

Read our full review on the 2015 Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6.

Bentley Motors celebrates its 100th birthday today by unveiling its vision of the future of luxury mobility at The Home of Bentley in Crewe. The Bentley EXP 100 GT is a physical embodiment of the future Bentley brand, reimagining Grand Touring for the future.

Beyond mere mobility, the Bentley EXP 100 GT concept car will enhance the owner’s Grand Touring experience, whether driving or being driven autonomously.

Bentley EXP 100 GT is borne from pure Bentley DNA and inspired by the company’s deep understanding of the desires of its intelligent, forward-thinking customers. Beautifully styled, it embraces Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a means to reassert the car as a place for creating, experiencing and capturing extraordinary human experiences and emotions.

Designed from the inside out and taking advantage of an all-electric platform, Bentley EXP 100 GT reimagines the Grand Tourer for the world of 2035. This is a world of shared luxury experiences where passenger and driver enjoy equal status in their enjoyment of their extraordinary journeys. The cars’ presence and impressive exterior proportions are reminiscent of many of Bentley’s historic Grand Tourers but take these luxury hallmarks into the future. The result is a future vision commensurate with Bentley’s status as the world’s most sought after luxury brand.

The meticulously sculpted cabin is luxuriously tactile, helping to create a harmonious environment designed around the well-being of its passengers. This is seamlessly integrated with the unique AI, known as the Bentley Personal Assistant, which helps the car’s occupants enhance and curate their Grand Tour experiences.

Sustainable innovation is also at the heart of the Bentley EXP 100 GT experience. The car is engineered to create a greater awareness of the world outside, with an intelligently-curated collection of materials including 5,000 year old Copper Infused Riverwood; Compass exterior paint made from recycled rice husks; 100% organic leather-like textile from wine making; British Farmed Wool carpets and embroidered cotton interior surfaces which all create sustainable future luxury, adding to the enhanced reality of the grand touring car of the future.

Adrian Hallmark, Bentley Chairman and CEO, said: “Today, on our Centenary, we demonstrate our vision of the future of our Marque, with the Bentley EXP 100 GT - a modern and definitive Grand Tourer designed to demonstrate that the future of luxury mobility is as inspirational and aspirational as the last 100 years.

Bentley has, and will continue to enhance and enrich every single journey and the lives of every single person who travels in, or has the honour to be a part of creating our extraordinary products.”

Stefan Sielaff, Director of Design said: “The Bentley EXP 100 GT represents the kind of cars we want to make in the future. Like those iconic Bentleys of the past, this car connects with its passengers’ emotions and helps them experience and safeguard the memories of the really extraordinary journeys they take.”

An inspiring blend of performance, technology and craftmanship, the Bentley EXP 100 GT is a beautiful, immersive and emotionally intelligent experience.

Luxury Beyond Mobility

The Bentley EXP 100 GT redefines the car as a space for extraordinary and emotional human experiences, ones that enrich and inspire. Bentley’s vision imagines the journeys of the future, drawing on 100 years of expertise in luxury design and craftmanship that are currently being celebrated around the world in the company’s Centenary year.

The Bentley EXP 100 GT’s sleek and muscular exterior explores the brand’s future design direction. It incorporates the company’s unmistakable DNA, remaining instantly recognisable as a Bentley. The famous R-Type Continental haunch at the rear, the round headlights that overlap the grille in a nod to the famous Bentley Blower and a long graceful body hint at famous models of yesteryear.

However, this Bentley journeys into the future. Made from lightweight aluminium and carbon fibre, the Bentley EXP 100 GT measures 5.8 metres long and almost 2.4 metres wide, and makes a statement of true luxury. This is further enhanced by decorative features crafted from copper and aluminium, both natural sustainable materials, which evoke founder W.O Bentley’s choice of materials to create the alloy for his famous BR1 Aero engine piston that played a major role in securing the air theatre in World War 1.

The driver and passenger doors are two metres wide and pivot outwards and upwards for effortless access. Fully open, they rise to almost three metres, adding to the sense of occasion on arrival.

The new exterior paint colour Compass is created using a special Colourstream pigment that reflects a beautiful spectrum of autumnal colours and is both sustainable and environmentally friendly. The pigment is synthetically made using rice husk ash, a harmful bi-product of the rice industry, remanufactured for the Bentley EXP 100 GT to reduce the amount that ends up in landfill waste.

The Bentley EXP 100 GT’s expressive exterior lighting is both dynamic and dramatic. A focal point is the smart, illuminated matrix grille and Flying B mascot which come to life as one approaches the car, light playing across the grille, through the mascot and along the bonnet central spine of the car and into the cabin itself. The car literally comes alive.

At the rear, a ‘horseshoe’ section of the boot is a 3D OLED screen on which lighting effects can blend in with the rear lamps.

Inside a luxurious cockpit, Bentley craftspeople have taken handcraftsmanship of materials to an as yet unseen level, setting the new benchmark for luxury interiors.

The finest natural materials such as wood, leather and glass are seamlessly blended with light, creating a unique interior environment that boosts the physical and mental well-being of passengers.

Exquisite materials graduate and flow throughout the handcrafted cabin of the Bentley EXP 100 GT. For example, the embroidery pattern of the sustainable textiles and leather complement the pattern of the grain in the naturally-felled wood veneer. These traditional, tactile materials reconnect passengers with the authentic, natural world around them.

Imperceptible joins between different materials such as wood, leather and wool allow an overall design motif to flow across all these surfaces. The materials are brought together by design, a seamless blend of patterns and forms, textures and colours. Glass flows into metal, into wood and into leather.

Light is core to life and in the Bentley EXP 100 GT it is harvested from the surrounding environment via an innovative glass roof embedded with prisms that collect light and transfer it into the cabin using fibre optics. The use of harvested natural light and synthesised light offers a new approach to enhancing wellness on board.

The Bentley Personal Assistant is a centre piece of the main console and visualised using illuminated crystal from Cumbria, England. Ambient lighting can also be modified to recreate a specific mood or exterior environment, while additional effects are delivered through projection mapping onto trim panels, such as door pads.

Intelligent, Adaptable Biometric Seating can be configured in three different ways, depending on whether the owner is driving or using autonomous mode. Biometric sensors monitor temperature, passenger position and environmental conditions to deliver the ultimate in comfort, whatever the conditions.

Bentley Personal Assistant pre-empts passenger needs and can even maximise comfort based on its knowledge of its owner. For example, reactive seat surfaces respond to passenger position during driving, automatically offering more support when the need is sensed.

In addition, biometrics are embedded throughout the Bentley EXP 100 GT to track eye and head movements, even blood pressure. It represents the future of customised, in-car comfort far beyond any seating experienced in a modern-day car.

An intelligent future for Grand Touring

Enhancing the occupants experience of their extraordinary journey in the Bentley EXP 100 GT is the Bentley Personal Assistant AI. This advanced, intelligent system defines the Grand Tourer of the future as it delivers a highly personalised experience to the passenger based on five distinct modes with individual characteristics: Enhance, Cocoon, Capture, Re-Live and Customise. Interaction with the AI is made through hand gestures made to the front or rear Cumbria Crystal interfaces that intuitively interpret the commands.

Enhance harvests inputs from the outside environment, such as light, sound, smell and air quality, offering a holistic grand tour, and a feeling of open top motoring from under the glass canopy.

Cocoon creates a protective space, including air purification and glass areas that turn opaque for privacy; while Capture records experiences from both inside and outside the car which become part of your car’s unique history.

Re-Live replays highlights of your Grand Tour, while Customise combines elements of all the different modes and are individually selected by the driver or passenger.

Sustainable Innovation – The Future of Bentley

Bentley believes its approach to innovation is created through a balance: Preservation of the world and the self should be at the forefront, while purposeful and intuitive innovation remains essentially linked to sustainability.

The Bentley EXP 100 GT features air and sound curation that promotes self-care and well-being in the car. These create a physiological, health-enhancing environment for passengers, promoting increased mindfulness in the cabin.

For example, Capture mode on Bentley Personal Assistant brings the external environment into the cabin, creating an open-top driving experience without taking the roof down. It also cocoons passengers – blocking and filtering air pollution in cities.

The Bentley EXP 100 GT has passive and active air intakes in the front grille, cooling the drivetrain and batteries that drive the car’s powerful electric motors. Unwanted air is channelled out of the car at the rear to aid aerodynamics.

The Air Purification System is located in the boot space to purify air before it is supplied into the cabin, with deployable air vents on the rear passenger shelf and static vents on the front passenger panel. The air vents undulate giving the appearance that the car is breathing and alive. Meanwhile, CO2 levels in the cabin are constantly monitored to maintain air quality.

As well as capturing exterior scents, Bentley has developed a unique scent for the Bentley EXP 100 GT. Created in collaboration with ethically-aware fragrance house 12.29, it builds on the rich heritage of Bentley, incorporating sandalwood and fresh moss.

The Bentley EXP 100 GT also puts passengers in control of how they disconnect and reflect, enhancing mindfulness by allowing occupants to live in the present. As screen-time become ever more present, these disconnecting, relaxing experiences have gained luxury status.

Rotary switches fashioned from copper and aluminium add tactility in a digital world.

The in-car displays enhance the grand tour experience using augmented reality, or can provide a relaxed cocoon on demand. All displays use a simple, intuitive interface that includes transparent OLED information displays in the doors, automatically darkening glass, and a front entertainment screen for displaying films, live video and other media when the Bentley EXP 100 GT is in autonomous driving mode.

Making a material difference to Sustainable Innovation

Bentley has collaborated with carefully selected industry experts to provide exceptional materials in the Bentley EXP 100 GT. All use sustainable and innovative techniques for customers who are environmentally-conscious and ethical in their brand choice.

Among them is the remarkable Copper Infused Riverwood, a sustainable wood from naturally fallen trees that has been preserved for 5,000 years in peat bogs, lakes and rivers. The Riverwood features in the cabin and has been sourced from The Fenland Black Oak Project, a British organisation set up to preserve this material for future generations.

Hand and Lock is the London-based embroidery company that employs exquisite, traditional techniques that date back to 1767 and are used on Royal and Military Dress uniforms. Their techniques are primarily used on the door panels of the Bentley EXP 100 GT, creating a seamless integration between different materials and a beautiful contemporary embroidery pattern.

Bridge of Weir Leather of Scotland works with specifically selected, locally sourced hides for Bentley to create a soft, natural leather enhanced by its environment. With the ultimate Super Natural finish, this will be Bentley’s benchmark for future luxury alternative materials.

Finally, in an exclusive collaboration, Bentley has used the by-products of wine-making to create the future of luxury eco-materials, creating a leather-like seating material which is 100 per cent bio-based.

Performance & Technology - Reimagining The Grand Tour

The Bentley EXP 100 GT is an extraordinary step on the road towards a carbon-free future.

Sustainable and intelligent, a battery electric powertrain, with intelligent power and charge management, will ensure that the Bentley EXP 100 GT is as powerful and exciting as its conventional predecessors.

Next Generation Traction Drive will enable maximum control via torque vectoring, applying 50 per cent increased power and 35 per cent less mass for more effective cornering. The battery system will power four motors that offer a 0-100 km (0-60 mph) time of less than 2.5 seconds, a top speed of 300 kph (186 mph) and maximum torque of 1,500 Nm.

Future battery technology will offer five times the conventional energy density, and charging the Bentley EXP 100 GT to 80 per cent of capacity will take only 15 minutes. Charging is automatically taken care of by the Bentley Personal Assistant. Weight will remain at a remarkably trim 1,900 kg and a range of 700 km (435 miles) will be possible.

To celebrate the drive, the Bentley EXP 100 GT is optionally autonomous. It manages the driving experience based on the external environment and passenger well-being. This might include maximising an exhilarating self-drive across mountain roads, or disengaging from a stressful, inner-city commute.

Bentley Personal Assistant can curate personal driving experiences, offering points of information along a route, journey suggestions, or available luxury experiences nearby.

Key to this are a range of features based on passenger well-being and comfort. These include Active Aero Wheels that dynamically adjust to deliver efficiency or maximum performance feel; Intelligent Pirelli Tyres that adapt their contact patches based on weather conditions or driver demand; Adaptable Biometric Seating that adapts to the driver mode, or swivels rearward with the steering wheel retracted away in autonomous mode.

The use of artificial intelligence with the Bentley Personal Assistant, combined with expert engineering in the Bentley EXP 100 GT, has redefined the future of Grand Touring. AI manifests itself in the cabin as a ‘feeling’ light and is controlled through gestures and touch.

An example of gesture control can be demonstrated by a child looking out of the Bentley EXP 100 GT cabin at clouds, then pulling down content inside the vehicle through a gesture that explains what they are seeing to them. AI thus creates a joint, meaningful learning experience that can also be shared.

AI is controlled via an illuminated Cumbria Crystal centre piece and control centre, set in three layers. Cumbria Crystal, the last producer of completely hand-blown and hand-cut crystal in England.

A cartridge system in the centre of the Bentley EXP 100 GT delivers luxury items and services. The main features are a Purified Water Decanter and Crystal Glasses; a Cartridge Delivery System that can deliver items from an under the bonnet storage area into the cabin itself; and World Class Services, that could receive items requested by the car’s AI and delivered from luxury service partners.

Centenary Celebrations

July 10, 2019 marks Bentley’s 100th year - an extraordinary milestone achieved by only a few companies. A year-long series of special activities have been taking place, with celebrations at events around the world.

They showcase Bentley’s motoring evolution over the last 100 years, highlighting its global success today and the exciting future of innovation ahead.

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