If the numerous special editions of the Continental GT and Mulsanne haven’t already given it away, Bentley is celebrating its centenary in 2019. And now the company has teased the centrepiece of its celebrations: a new concept car, called EXP 100 GT, which will not only reference Bentley’s illustrious history but will also preview the path it plans to take in the future.
Unlike any production Bentley so far, the concept will entirely eschew internal combustion in favour of an electric motor and battery set-up. The Crewe firm’s adoption of EV tech comes as little surprise with the current heavy emphasis on green technology across the vast Volkswagen empire, but this will be the first concrete look at what a Bentley GT could be like without a traditional powertrain.
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Details remain scarce before the concept’s official reveal on July 10, but the technology is expected to be borrowed from the Porsche Taycan and Audi e-Tron GT – two premium EV models on a new platform called J1, which is mooted to be shared across into the Bentley model range.
As such, expect the EXP 100 GT to be powered by multiple electric motors, driving all four wheels beneath a sleek four-seater body. It will feature entirely bespoke styling in keeping with the Bentley’s stately image, but with a new freedom in regards to the packaging thanks to that electric platform.
With such a long and storied history in building the ultimate GT cars, it comes as little surprise to see Bentley transitioning to electric technology as it continues to mature into a genuine alternative to internal combustion propulsion. There is no doubt electric motors have an incredible spread of capability and refinement, but whether Bentley is able to translate the drama and specialness that have been instilled into its models over the last century remains the bigger question – one that should, at least in part, be answered with the EXP 100 GT concept.