If you ever wanted a sign that the world is moving toward a greener future, you could find a big one at the Geneva Motor Show. Bentley, a company that makes enormous gas-guzzling vehicles for the one percent, surprised attendees with its first all-electric convertible, the EXP 12 Speed 6E Concept. Bentley has flirted with plug-in hybrids before, with one expected to launch in 2018, but this is the first “pure” vehicle it has made.
LET’S GET THE Bentayga’s specs out of the way first, because they’re mind-boggling. A top speed of 187 mph. Zero to 60 mph in four seconds. A leviathan 6-liter twin-turbo 12-cylinder engine that produces 600 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. A sticker price starting at $230,000.
Bentley is tantalizingly close to approving a two-seat, front-engined supercar derived from the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept, according to board member for sales and marketing Kevin Rose. And there could well be a full-EV version, he says. And after that a second SUV because the early indications are that the high-luxury W-12-engined Bentayga is a huge sales success.
At every auto show, there’s always at least one manufacturer that tries to spring a surprise with a not-even-hinted-at new model. And although there’s still plenty of time for Geneva to produce some more astonishment—as of this writing, the first press day hasn’t even started—first blood goes to Bentley with the EXP 10 Speed 6.