Bentley unveiled a concept showcasing its vision of luxury electric motoring for a time when battery technology has improved far beyond its current level.
The EXP 100 GT is a 5800-mm (228-inch) long grand tourer that Bentley says has driving range of 700 km (435 miles) on a single charge because of its battery technology that is five times the energy density of current technology.
The two-door coupe was unveiled at Bentley's headquarters in Crewe, England, on Wednesday, the day of the brand's 100th anniversary of its founding.
"This is the kind of car we want to make in the future," Bentley's design chief, Stefan Sielaff, said in a statement.
While rivals such as Aston Martin have revealed details of upcoming luxury electric cars, Bentley has said it will not launch an EV until around 2025 when battery technology improves.
"The problem is when you get to our segment with the size of our vehicles and the frontal area we push through, current battery power density limits the size of the car you can offer with a credible driving range," Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark told Automotive News Europe last year.
Hallmark said there was "nothing industrialized" in the battery technology supply chain capable of overcoming the problem until around 2025.
The EXP 100 GT goes beyond that date to visualize luxury motoring in 2035, when autonomous technology goes hand-in-hand with long-range batteries.
The concept takes inspiration from Bentley cars of previous eras to represent the "future of luxury mobility," Hallmark said. The car would be capable of being driven or driving itself autonomously and integrates "emotionally-intelligent" technology to enhance long journeys.
The technology is centered around the on-board Bentley Personal Assistant, an upmarket equivalent of Amazon's Alexa that would operates in a similar fashion to Audi's PIA assistant seen in the VW-owned brand's 2017 Aicon autonomous concept.
The personal assistant is voice or gesture operated and can offer information, suggest journeys or luxury experiences en-route and controls the various modes that Bentley says can transform journeys. One such mode is called Enhance, which would be activated on countryside drives to bring the sounds and smells of the outside into the cabin, giving the feeling of an open-topped car despite having a fixed roof. Cocoon does the reverse, turning the glass opaque focusing on the inside, while Capture records the drive.
The seats can be swiveled around in autonomous mode and incorporate "biometric" technology that react automatically to body weight and temperature and adjust positioning and temperature accordingly. Bentley boasts of "comfort far beyond any seating experienced in a modern-day car.
"The materials in the car include 5000-year-old wood that has been preserved in bogs and a faux-leather for the seating made from the by-products of wine production. On the outside the special silver paint has been made partly from rice husks.
The design of the exterior recalls the long fastback shape of the 1952 Continental R with its sweeping tail and pronounced rear haunches. A the front the headlights merge with the grille in an effect that Bentley says recalls the headlights sitting in front of the grille on early Bentleys such as the 1927 Four and a half Liter model.
When you walk up to the car, the grille, the Bentley "flying B" badge and the interior illuminate. "The car literally comes alive," Bentley said.
The EXP 100 GT would weigh a comparatively lightweight 1900 kg (4,189 pound) , another function of the energy-dense batteries.
The lighter weight helps give claimed performance figures closer to a supercar, with an acceleration of 0-60 mph (97 kph) in 2.5 seconds and a top-speed of 186 mph (300 kph).
Bentley previously showed an electric concept back in 2017 with the EXP 12 Speed 6e.
Despite being well received the brand backed away from the idea of making sports cars to continue to focus on refined luxury grand tourers. "Within the Volkswagen Group [Bentley's owner], there are enough sports cars," Hallmark said last year.
In the interview, Hallmark said the brand's first full-electric car would "redefine grand touring," a statement that foreshadowed the EXP 100 GT.