What’s Going on in the Bentley/Bugatti World

Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 concept car

It’s important to automakers to be able to maintain some element of surprise when unveiling a new car and the Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 concept car was the biggest surprise of the Geneva auto show. The VW Group Night marked the showcase time for this awesome new model to show itself and the chief of the brand, Wolfgang Durheimer was on hand to answer a few questions regarding the new car and what was in the works for the VW group.

Bentley isn’t known for building two-seat cars but this idea isn’t new for Bentley and the cues for the new Exp 10 Speed 6 were taken from the last concept which came in the form of the Hunaudieres concept from 1999. The concept at that time was based on the Lamborghini Diablo but the new Speed 6 is actually based on the new VW group Modular Standard-Baukasten (MSB) architecture which will also be found in the next version of the Porsche Panamera.

Even though Durheimer would not fully commit to that restriction, and why should he, he did state the modules will be used in some vehicles but not necessarily across the entire platform. The car they are trying to create if the Speed 6 makes it to production is one that is ultralight and competitive and the MSB might not be the right approach, but only studies and time will tell. Another possibility will be the use of a low weight build using the aluminum space-frame architecture that has gained a strong following in a lot of other vehicles.

Durheimer did state the Speed 6 would not go engine crazy with a W-12 but use a V-6 or V-8 to take care of business while adding turbochargers to get the most out of the car. The car is expected to be an all-wheel drive model but could also be offered as a rear-wheel drive version as well, but neither will offer a manual transmission. The engine placement is expected to be a front-mid position giving it good balance and a great place to gain dynamic performance and precision control.

Even though Bentley has developed their own copper colored logo to signify a car as a hybrid model there won’t be an all-electric offering from Bentley to compete with Tesla. Durheimer stated the customers they have would find their all-electric car elsewhere and expect a certain level of perfection from them to add to their collection.

As another note of question, Durheimer did confirm he is considering a Bugatti four-door car such as the Galibier concept that showed itself in 2009 but the idea has currently been put on the back burner. With the perfection expected from both Bentley and Bugatti it’s going to be fun to pay special attention to both brands for the foreseeable future to see what comes out of the Speed 6 and even possibly the Galibier. Watch for some great plug-in hybrid models to show themselves across the Bentley platforms as well in the very near future, making this watch and wait one that has me on the edge of my seat.

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