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Bentley EXP 12 Speed 6e concept electrifies long road trips

It builds upon the concept that originally debuted at Geneva in 2014.

Now playing: Watch this: Bentley EXP 12 Speed 6e: An EV Bentley?!

Two years ago, Bentley wowed the crowds at Geneva with the curvaceous EXP 10 Speed 6 coupe concept. Now, it's built upon that concept by dropping the top and adding a big ol' battery.

At this point, if you haven't acknowledged that electric cars are the future, your head must be quite far into a pile of sand. Even Bentley, a company known for shoving 12-cylinder engines into opulent luxury cars, is prepared to sing the body electric, and the EXP 12 Speed 6e concept proves it.

The goal of the concept was to provide the grand touring experience -- long trips in a big, comfortable car -- with an electric vehicle. While there aren't any specifications available, Bentley says its concept is built with rapid inductive charging in mind to provide the range required for long trips through the countryside with a picnic basket and a loved one in tow.

I will wait however long it takes for this styling to make its way to Bentley's production cars. It's resplendent.


Beyond the battery, this concept is more than just the EXP 10 Speed 6 with the roof taken off. It has a "6e" logo that illuminates in the grille when the car is running. The hood scoops work as heat sinks to drop the temps for the battery. The steering wheel looks like it came from an airplane. There's a separate control panel for the passenger that provides access to entertainment and social media.

And, since it's a concept, cameras have replaced the side mirrors. You'd be hard pressed to find a pie-in-the-sky concept that doesn't feature cameras for mirrors in the 21st century.

While I wouldn't exactly expect this concept to make its way to reality in this exact form, Bentley's Continental is due for a new generation at some point in the near-ish future, and this could very well presage Bentley's next generation of design language. At least, that's what I'm hoping, because it's positively gorgeous.