Emboldened by the response it achieved after unveiling the EXP 100 GT concept, Bentley is planning a limited production run of what it calls the “ultimate open-cockpit sports tourer”.
Created by the British carmaker’s coachbuilding division – Mulliner – each car will cost close to $2 million before options. Bentley will likely use innovative and sustainable materials showcased by the EXP 100 GT.
Just 12 EXP 100 GT-based open-top luxury tourers are commissioned for production.
The Crewe-based carmaker is aiming to give a nod to Mulliner’s past with the model, while also demonstrating its future direction. Its price and exclusivity will provide further distinction from Bentley’s lineup of series production cars. Although the open-top luxury car isn’t official yet, Bentley design chief Stefan Sielaff hinted at the project earlier in 2019. “We will show a first idea of what we can for customers,” he said.
If approved for production, the model will hit the streets in 2021. It will be a two-seat tourer, intended to “exaggerate the sensations of driving,” as again claimed by the company. The car will not feature any electrification, instead getting its motive power from Bentley’s 6.0-litre W12 engine that makes 626hp and 900Nm. This motor powers the Continental GT and Flying Spur as well. Bentley will not offer a roof with the ultra-limited production car, meaning it will be significantly lighter than the GT duo.
The British carmaker is believed to be commissioning no more than 12 examples of the open-top car. These 12 cars follow the announcement in September this year of a continuation series of 12 Bentley ‘Blowers’, all of which have been sold out already. Other special edition cars created by Mulliner this year include the Mulsanne W.O. Edition, Continental GT No. 9 and Continental GT No. 1, all of which quickly found buyers, says Bentley.
Although the roofless Bentley will echo the EXP 100 GT's design and choice of materials, it will not feature an electric powertrain.
Talking about demand for such bespoke cars, Sielaff said, “We have more and more customers asking for a very individual Bentley – almost a one-off or a series of 10. In the old days, this was difficult for homologation but now we ramp up this idea.”
Referencing the EXP 100 GT-based project, he said, “We have to deal with [one-offs] very carefully, but I think this is a trend. It’s not only Bentley. It will be under the remit of Mulliner coachbuilding, sitting on top of Bentley, and will definitely be something more expensive than a normal Bentley.”
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