A Bentley Designer Explains How Electrification Shapes the Brand’s Future

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Wen Bentley unveiled its EXP one hundred GT concept closing week at its headquarters in Crewe, England—at the day of its a hundredth anniversary—the producer added the primary concrete hints that this ultra-premium marque becomes seriously taking into consideration its role in destiny mobility.
Yes, the lengthy, low car appears every bit the sleek and aerodynamic game coupe you’d assume from Bentley, but it’s got autonomy baked into the layout, thru a reconfigurable indoors, it’s completely electric powered, and it debuts a lights device intended to speak its intentions to those round it. In impact, it’s joining the conversation in a significant manner, a gesture that many are probably forgiven for assuming might be “under” the emblem.
We sat down Bentley’s head of exterior design, John Paul Gregory, to discover how the brand new vehicle reflects a divergence from Bentley’s normal path. Gregory has been with Bentley for eleven years, and has led the development of the outward appearances, maximum currently, of the brand new Continental GT and GT Convertible and the approaching Flying Spur.

A: I think the reason I turned into given the activity inside the first region is definitely that I proved that I understood the spirit and the individual of Bentley, in place of just executing a line here and a line there. Designing for Bentley is a great deal greater than that. There are positive formulas we are able to observe, but that doesn’t always work. It’s not binary. It’s greater working on intuition and trusting your own reports and your instincts a touch bit. So you maintain experimenting, keep shifting form and quantity round—and once in a while, you need to rip it up and begin once more. At Bentley, our design manner is longer than a mass-manufactured car, so we’ve got that slightly longer layout system in which to feature in that more degree of refinement. That’s some thing that is truly critical a part of our endeavor.
Q: What became your goal with the EXP a hundred GT idea?
A: This is a layout assertion of Bentley within destiny. We were given together with all our stakeholders internally and had lengthy conversations with the board, saying men, we’re a hundred—how are we going to have fun? What are we going to do? Of route, on the pinnacle of it being our birthday, we have this unheard-of shift and transition inside the car industry. So we determined to use this as a possibility to have a celebration and honor our extremely good brand, and on the equal time set out what kind of brand we want to come to be in the destiny. We wanted to expose what form of vehicles will we want to make.

A: Electric vehicles don’t ought to be soulless boxes. They can nevertheless have car enchantment and they could nonetheless talk to your historical past. Yes, there’s a completely new set of technical constraints, however, you’re still gambling with recognizable DNA. With this idea—it’s a totally large automobile, and it’s were given that Bentley statement as a massive, ambitious coupe. But electrification gives us the opportunity to speak about future drivetrains, and with a huge footprint we will spread the batteries out. This allows for pretty unique and configurable interior space. You can choose, three or four seats, and that flexibility affects the exterior proportions.
When you start speaking approximately the silhouette of this car, it’s quite a one-of-a-kind from normal. The proportions are suffering from electric pressure, which becomes the start of this configurable space. What that means is that the front windscreen is a lot further ahead than it generally could be. In the past, you will have these vast bonnets due to the fact there is widespread engines interior, and the windshield could be very a long way back. It’s what we call the dash-to-axle ratio, or the “prestige mass”—the gap between the door and the center of the front wheels. It’s commonly very huge on a Bentley, but in this car, it’s sincerely pretty small.
We’ve additionally wrapped across the A-pillars a touch bit similarly, so we’ve were given quite a few curvatures within the front screen. What that does is give you get a very special issue, relying on wherein you look at the car.