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Meet Bentley’s two-seat ‘Speed 6’ concept
If Bentley was to make a two-seat, front-engined rival to the Aston Martin Vantage, Merc-AMG GT S and even Ferrari F12, how might that rival look?
Something like this, according to the Bentley designers themselves. This is the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept, a design study revealed on the eve of the Geneva show and demonstrating, according to Bentley, ‘a future direction of luxury and performance, […] a British interpretation of a high-performance two-seat sports car.”
Which means this very much isn’t one of those fit-some-proper-door-mirrors-and-it’s-ready-for-production concepts. Rather, this is a toe in the water from Bentley, to assess public reaction to a smaller, sportier offering.
In fact, it’s so far from production that there’s no word as yet what engine might lie below that long, dipping bonnet, though some iteration of Bentley’s 4.0-litre V8 turbo would be a safe bet.
Despite clearly sharing DNA with the current Continental GT, this is emphatically not a reskin of Bentley’s footballers’ favourite. Though Bentley hasn’t yet released dimensions, it’s considerably shorter than the Conti: behind the driver’s and passenger’s seats lurks a cross-brace, some luggage space, and not a whole lot else.
“EXP 10 Speed 6 is one vision for Bentley’s future - a power, exquisite and individual concept,” says Bentley chairman Wolfgang Durheimer. “The show car has the potential to be the new pinnacle luxury sports car.”
That’s a hint that a production Speed 6, were Bentley to pursue it, wouldn’t necessarily be cheaper than the Continental, which starts around £136,000.
Bentley is most keen that you spend many hours poring over the Speed 6’s lavish design details. We’re told its grille, rather than being a simple plane, ‘includes varying depth with a complex 3D geometry’, while that paint is a ‘deeper, richer, heavily metallic version of British Racing Green’.
On the inside, there’s a portrait 12-inch touchscreen perhaps inspired by that of the Porsche 918, along with Bentley’s traditionally spectacular array of leather, metal and wood.
After the Bentayga SUV lands in 2016, Bentley is keen to expand its model range yet further. But it’s far from certain that the Speed 6 will be green-lighted for production in preference to, say, a further SUV variant.
But, given the choice between another posh crossover and this stocky, pugilistic two-seater, we know which way we’d like Bentley to go. How about you?