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The Hybrid, 3D Printed Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept Pushes Luxury Forward

03.25.15 | By
The Hybrid, 3D Printed Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept Pushes Luxury Forward
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Bentley’s connection with top tier opulence and handmade craftsmanship on four wheels is well established and storied, with models like their Flying Spur and Mulsanne already synonymous with the life less ordinary. But the Crewe, United Kingdom automotive manufacturer isn’t resting on their hand-stitched laurels, recognizing the brand’s reputation, like any luxury name, requires continually conceptualizing and redefining.

Their latest concept car the EXP 10 Speed 6, unveiled at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show, is Bentley’s attempt to connect the automotive brand’s motorsport racing past with present day innovations in a more sporty stance. 3D metal printing technology, a powerful yet efficient plug-in hybrid powertrain (details scant at this time), and an expansive touchscreen cabin control display are combined within the package of an aggressively crouching feline profile designed to “challenge competitors and define a new segment benchmark”. It’s certainly a Bentley we haven’t seen before.

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The EXP 10 Speed 6 concept showcases the brand's renowned attention to the smallest details – traditionally handled by craftsman – brought forward into the 21st century utilizing 3D metal printing technology across the grille mesh, exhausts, door handles and side vents. Intricate lattice detailing is mirrored across the quilted leather interior and onto the glass of the headlamps.

The EXP 10 Speed 6 concept showcases the brand’s renowned attention to the smallest details – traditionally handled by craftsman, now executed with the precision of computer-controlled machinery – brought forward into the 21st century utilizing 3D metal printing technology across the grille mesh, exhausts, door handles and side vents. Intricate lattice detailing is mirrored across the quilted leather interior, audio speaker grills, and noticeably onto the glass of the headlamps.

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“This is not just a new sports car concept – but the potential Bentley sports car – a bold vision for a brand with a bold future.” – Wolfgang Dürheimer, Bentley CEO

Bentley has reinterpreted signature detailing like their iconic matrix grill – one that now hides a giant "6" only visible from certain angles – to a bold quartet of LED-powered headlamps, to a specially formulated metallic version of British Racing Green paintwork which boldly marks the brand's motorsports heritage.

Bentley has reinterpreted signature detailing like their iconic matrix grill, one that now hides a giant “6” only visible from certain angles. A bold quartet of LED-powered headlamps and a specially formulated metallic version of British Racing Green paintwork boldly marks the brand’s motorsports heritage.

A narrow center console is home to a tall 12” touch screen for driver and passenger comfort  and connectivity controls.

A narrow center console is home to a tall 12” touch screen for driver and passenger comfort and connectivity controls.

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Bentley says the EXP 10 Speed 6’s muscular athletic surface design takes cues from above…high above…the aerodynamic shapes of aircraft fuselages and wings, sporting a low-hung aerodynamic profile compared to Bentley’s traditionally upright stature which extends into the two-seat sports car’s interior cabin with its two symmetrical wings spanning the console front. It’s hard not to see hints of Jaguar and Aston Martin design DNA in this vehicles profile, but the indulgent interior cabin is unmistakably Bentley with its signature sumptuous craftsmanship.

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Bentley CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer has hinted this concept isn’t just a design exercise and may be further refined into production as the fifth spoke of Bentley’s large spoked wheel of models, joining the Mulsanne, Flying Spur, Continental GT, and Bentayga SUV as the most sporty of the Bentley vehicles. Let’s hope so, as this next-gen Bentley vehicle seems poised to give the heritage brand a more aerodynamic feather to add to its cap.

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Gregory Han is Tech Editor of Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at gregoryhan.com.