A couple of years ago, Bentley surprised us all by showing off the 2015 Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept, a delicious-looking coupe with a bold design and more character than a Stephen King Novel. Then, just a couple of years later, Bentley found itself in the same place, only this time with the 2017 EXP 12 Speed 6e Concept. It had the bold styling of the first concept, but this time it was said to have an electrified drivetrain and unlimited headroom. The business case has been made, and the masses have shown lots of interest in such a model, but the Volkswagen Group could keep the Bentley two-seater from ever seeing production.
See, since Bentley is a part of the dirty VAG (pun intended,) it has to be careful when it comes to intergroup competition, and with the Audi R8 being a big model for Audi, VAG may not approve of the EXP in production form. In an interview with Motoring, Uday Senapati – the Head of Technical Operations at Mulliner – said, “From within Bentley, definitely yes [there’s momentum]. But we’re part of a big group, and it has to work with the rest of the group… Because we are a portfolio of brands, we can’t be overtly competing against each other.” When asked if a direct competitor to the R8 was off limits, he responded with, “Exactly. So if we can create a niche segment for it, then yes [we can do it].”
So, with that said, Bentley can’t just go the usual route with the two-seater if it’s ever to see production, but that doesn’t mean all is lost. Keep reading to find out.