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Car of the Century: Bentley EXP 100 GT



When the Bentley EXP 100 GT made its debut on U.S. soil during Monterey Car Week this summer, it created major buzz among auto aficionados. Bentley calls the concept car “a vision of sustainable luxury mobility,” and it’s easy to see why. As both an intelligent car and an electric car, the EXP 100 GT features an emotionally intelligent AI and a zero-emissions powertrain with a predicted range of up to 700km (435 miles). DuPont Registry declared it had “the most advanced artificial intelligence we’ve seen,” and TopSpeed’s Safet Satara says: “I have to tell you that it can drive by itself, it can mimic the surroundings by managing ambiance inside the cabin, and it is fast!”

The Bentley EXP 100 GT is a celebration of all Bentley’s achievements in luxury motoring over the last century. Designed from the inside out and taking advantage of an all-electric platform, the vehicle reimagines the Grand Tourer for the world of 2035. The meticulously sculpted cabin is made from lightweight aluminum and carbon fiber. An intelligently curated collection of luxury sustainable materials includes 5,000-year-old copper-infused riverwood; Compass exterior paint made from recycled rice husks; 100% organic leather-like textile leftover from winemaking; British farmed wool carpets; and embroidered cotton interior surfaces. These sustainable elements are integrated with the unique AI, known as the Bentley Personal Assistant, which helps the car’s occupants enhance and curate their Grand Tour experiences by offering points of information along a route, journey suggestions or nearby luxury experiences. Intelligent, adaptable biometric seating can be configured in three ways, depending on whether the owner is driving or using autonomous mode. Reactive seat surfaces respond to passenger position during driving, automatically offering more support when the need is sensed. Biometrics are embedded throughout the Bentley EXP 100 GT to track eye and head movements, even blood pressure.

Five modes allow drivers to personalize their in-car experience: Enhance, Cocoon, Capture, Re-Live, and Customize. Interaction with the AI is through hand gestures made to the front or rear Cumbria Crystal interfaces that intuitively interpret the commands. For example, the Enhance mode harvests input from the outside environment, such as light, sound, smell and air quality, offering a holistic grand tour and a feeling of open-top motoring from under the glass canopy. Cocoon creates a protective space, including air purification and glass areas that turn opaque for privacy, while Capture records experiences from both inside and outside the car that become part of the car’s unique history. Re-Live replays highlights of the occupants’ Grand Tour, while Customize combines elements of all five modes that are individually selected by the driver or passenger.

None of these features, of course, outshines the performance of the Bentley EXP 100 GT. Bentley created a battery system that will power four motors that deliver a zero-to-60 mph time of less than 2.5 seconds, top speed of 186 mph, and maximum torque of 1,500 Nm. Between the Next Generation Traction Drive — which enables maximum control via torque vectoring that applies 50% increased power and 35% less mass for more effective cornering — and future battery technology that will offer five times the conventional energy density, the EXP 100 GT takes the concept car to the extreme. Explains Adrian Hallmark, Bentley’s chairman and CEO: “All the technologies and materials in the car are either existing, in development or in research.” Stefan Sielaff, Bentley’s director of design, adds: “The EXP 100 GT represents the kind of cars we want to make in the future.”

The future — or 2035 — can’t come soon enough.

To explore the EXP 100 GT, download the Bentley 100 AR app. You can also interact with a virtual version of the car in full scale by using the app at selected Bentley retailers.

Story by Alyson Pitarre 

Article originally appeared in Homes & Estates

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Car of the Century: Bentley EXP 100 GT

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