The Bentley EXP 100 GT Concept Is About to Lose Its Top
The resulting road-going car will be a very-limited-edition model slapped with a $1.9 million price tagby Tudor Rus, on
If the recent rumors are true, Bentley is looking to capitalize on the stunningly-designed EXP 100 GT Concept by deriving it into a super-exclusive model of the barchetta-style ilk. The open-top sports tourer is in line to receive the carmaker’s W-12 powerplant that’s shared by the likes of Bentayga, Continental GT, and Flying Spur, but it has to qualify for approval first. Once it ticks that box, its development process will fall into the task of Bentley’s Mulliner division - so expect the open-top sports tourer to ooze luxury through every crevice.
Does A EXP 100 GT Barchetta Make Sense for Bentley?
According to Autocar, Bentley is brewing a new jaw-dropper in the form of an “ultimate open-cockpit sports tourer.” The outlet quotes “insiders” as its sources and further reports that the resulting car will, in fact, “use innovative and sustainable materials showcased by the EXP 100 GT.”
If Mulliner is indeed tasked with building the EXP 100 GT barchetta, then those lucky and rich enough to afford one will be spoiled on various levels.
The EXP 100 GT debuted the 5,000-year old Copper Infused Riverwood trim as well as Vegea, a leather-like material that’s 100 percent organic and also a bi-product of wine-making. What’s more, the concept’s body paint was based on recycled rice husks, while British Farmed Wool carpets thick enough to lose a coin in them adorned the cabin’s floor.
Autocar says that Mulliner will be heavily involved in the vehicle’s development works as the VW-owned company is looking to kill two birds with one stone: keep the futuristic, forward-looking vibe of the EXP 100 GT concept alive and at the same time pay homage to its rich legacy. As some of you know, Mulliner has been seriously huffing and puffing since the 1760s, having started out as a family business that built carriages.
Coming back to this uber-exclusive new model, it is very possible that a select few customers might have already seen a close-to-production example. How do we know this? Well, Bentley design boss Stefan Sielaff said in an interview a couple of months ago that “we [Bentley] will show a first idea of what we can do for [a small number of] customers.
So to answer the initial question, yes, Bentley’s current lineup has room for an open-top sports tourer/speedster of sorts, especially in the context where McLaren just launched the Elva, Ferrari already has the SP1 and SP2 stunners, and Porsche’s 911 Speedster has been getting a lot of acclaim over the past months. Don’t expect a charge for utter sportiness, though, when it comes to Bentley’s barchetta.
Sure, it will pack a hefty punch, but the emphasis will fall on comfort, luxury, and lavishness, with on-the-road dynamics not crossing the border into the extreme.
What Will Power the Bentley EXP 100 GT Barchetta?
Info is very scarce for the time being as far as the speedster’s drivetrain is concerned, but luckily for our speculation purposes, Bentley isn’t short of suitable powertrains.
Naturally, the 6.0-liter W-12 is a prime candidate to equip this new model.
The powerhouse makes 626 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 664 pound-feet of torque at 1,350-4,500 rpm. Inside the Continental GT, the unit allows for a 0-60 miles per hour sprint dispatched in 3.6 seconds en route to a top speed of 207 miles per hour.
|Engine||6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W-12|
|Horsepower||626 HP @ 6,000 RPM|
|Torque||664 LB-FT @ 1,350-4,500 RPM|
|Transmission||dual-clutch eight-speed automatic|
|0 to 60 mph||3.6 seconds|
|Top Speed||207 mph|
Even if we’ve established that the open-top sports tourer won’t be your track demon, Bentley could also see fit to equip it with its V-8 powerplant on a rationale that has to do with saving weight.
The massive W-12 is also pretty heavy, so the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 might be a solution should Bentley decide its new model needs to be a tad lighter on its feet. In that case, customers will have to make do with 542 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque.
|Engine||4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V-8|
|0 to 60 mph||3.9 seconds|
|Top Speed||198 mph|
Regardless of what powers it, the open-top model spawned by the Bentley EXP 100 GT is said to cost in the region of $1.9 million, making it an affair exclusively dedicated to the one-percenters out there.
Whatever car Bentley squeezes out of the EXP 100 GT, it won’t come cheap, we can tell you that much. The thing is, however, that such cars are not only enjoying a surge in popularity these days, but they also turn out a lot of profit for their respective makers.
Since Bentley is or was testing the waters by involving its customer base in the decision to build such a car, we expect the carmaker to pick an ideal number of units to be offered, so that each and every one of them is sold successfully. We’ve heard that Benley will build 12 EXP 100 GT Barchettas, but we’ll have to wait and see about that. Also, expect Bentley to design a lot of personalization options for this barchetta-looking model, because as the rich get richer, their desire for unique cars is only burning brighter.