Happy Birthday, Bentley
Bentley Motors is celebrating its 100th anniversary today—it was founded by W.O. Bentley, an engineer who was known for the engines he developed—and it created its own gift in the form of a concept car, the Bentley EXP 100 GT, which is rather more fascinating than what is the ordinary 100th anniversary gift, a 10-caret diamond.
The Bentley EXP 100 GT, a 100th birthday present the company created for itself. (Images: Bentley Motors)
The vehicle is to embody the future of Bentley’s grand tourers. And because they’re talking about the future, it is an electric vehicle. It uses four electric motors that will propel the aluminum-carbon fiber coupe from 0 to 60 mph in less than 2.5 seconds. A range of 435 miles “is possible” and the company also suggests that “Future battery technology will offer five times the conventional energy density, and charging the Bentley EXP 100 GT to 80 percent of capacity will take only 15 minutes.” As they are making prognostications about the future, presumably they could have gone for a longer range and a faster charging time.
Stefan Sielaff, Bentley Director of Design, said of this development, “The Bentley EXP 100 GT represents the kind of cars we want to make in the future. Like those iconic Bentleys of the past, this car connects with its passengers’ emotions and helps them experience and safeguard the memories of the really extraordinary journeys they take.”
And also because this is the future, the vehicle is “optionally autonomous.”
The vehicle is 19 feet long and nearly 8 feet wide. It has a mass of 4,188 pounds.
Among the more fascinating features of the EXP 100 GT are the various environmentally sensitive materials deployments.
For example, the wood trim is 5,000-year old Copper Infused Riverwood, material that is excavated from peak bogs, lakes and rivers; the wood is managed by The Fenland Black Oak Project, which was established to maintain the wood for future generations (note: remember that the EXP 100 GT is a one-off—for now).
An advanced—but environmentally appropriate—interior.
The exterior paint color, Compass, is based on a pigment that is made from rice husk ash, an otherwise harmful bi-product of the rice industry.
While there is natural leather deployed, which is sourced by Bridge of Weir Leather of Scotland, the vehicle features a “leather-like” seating material that is made with bio-products that are left over from the wine-making process.
And while this may be a futuristic Bentley, it still features knobs, knobs made with copper and aluminum and undoubtedly finely knurled.
Mercedes has been putting diesels in vehicles since 1926. It has been offering them in the U.S. since 1949. And 2013 is seeing a range of offerings, including in its popular GLK SUV.
Chrysler pioneered the modern-day minivan more than 30 years ago and has been refining and improving that type of vehicle ever since.
GM gives its mid-size pickup customers what they’ve been clamoring for, a clean and quiet, high-torque, fuel-efficient diesel.