A hundred years ago, there were two siblings, Walter Owen Bentley and Horace Millner Bentley, who were quite like the youth of today, having a job at a company (they sold DFP cars in North London) while nursing dreams of someday starting one of their own. Walter, especially, always wanted to start his own automotive firm, employing designs that he himself had created. In 1913, the year before the Great War was to begin, he noticed an aluminium paperweight sitting on his desk and was struck by the ingenious idea of replacing cast iron pistons with aluminium ones, thereby reducing their weight considerably. And just like that, an idea would lead to the creation of one of the largest British manufacturer of SUVs and luxury vehicles.
Fast forward a century to the present time and that same company started by the Bentley brothers have witnessed quite the illustrious journey for itself; having been acquired and re-acquired by different automotive multinationals, the most recent one being by the Volkswagen Group in 1998. But Bentley Motors has managed to maintain its tradition of transforming ingenious ideas into reality, as can be demonstrated by its latest concept, the Bentley EXP 100 GT. The EXP 100 GT is a celebration of the company completing a hundred successful years and they couldn’t really have had one grander than the EXP 100 GT.
As for its design, the car is extremely sleek and futuristic to look at, both on the inside (it does look a bit like an extraterrestrial pod from within, albeit one made using sustainable technology) as well as on the outside. The carbon fibre and aluminium body, with its streamlined shape and longish hood, gives the EXP 100 GT the appeal of a car very similar to one that the Dark Knight from the Batman animated series of the 90s would have liked to ride in. This one, however, comes with its very own version of Alfred, the Butler, as well. The artificially intelligent personal assistant provided by Bentley can perform a variety of tasks such as charging your vehicle, adjusting your seating, etc.
It also remembers your tastes and preferences and based on your biometrics, as well as the weather conditions outside, it can enrich your driving experience using a number of different modes such as Enhance, Cocoon, Capture, Re-Live, and Customize. The Enhance mode creates conditions that resemble open air driving, for example, by opening up the glass roof and letting more of the natural light in. The Cocoon mode, on the other hand, creates an intimate and sheltered ambience around you, preventing prying eyes along the highway from peeping in. There’s also an autonomous mode that you can switch to, which allows you to take a nap or do other leisurely things in the privacy of your Cocoon. The Capture mode records your journey while the Re-Live one plays clippings from a certain trip.
The EXP 100 GT, in a way being suggestive of the future of the company, is an Electric Vehicle and has an incredible range of about 700 km before it needs charging again. And the battery recharges to about 80 percent in just 15 minutes. Now we know that the EXP 100 GT is still a concept and there’s a possibility that its final on-road version might not exactly have the same range or autonomous capability, but it is still indicative of the path that Bentley has set itself upon and the future it envisions for itself and the automotive world.