Back in 1994, the broadside across the industry was Concept Java, which represented a significant diversion for Bentley, then owned by Rolls-Royce. “Rarely has a concept car got people speculating and dreaming quite as much as Concept Java, a ‘junior’ Bentley with Cosworth V8 power,” wrote Autocar’s Giles Chapman at the time.
The Java – explained by company chiefs as a study in packaging for future Bentleys – was a four-seat convertible with a fabric roof that stowed beneath an electrically operated rear deck.
“The brief was to come up with two cars in one: an urbane Bentley coupé in the idiom of the great Continentals of yesteryear on the one hand, and a proper four-seat convertible on the other. Not only that, but it all had to fit into the space of a Mercedes E-Class,” wrote our man at the show.
The car’s styling was a collaboration between Rolls-Royce chief stylist Graham Hull and Design Research Associates, headed by Roy Axe. “It is packaged around a 3.5-litre, twin-turbocharged Cosworth V8 that has its roots in the firm’s XB Indycar units,” Autocar’s story explained.