Currently reading: Autocar readers visit Bentley HQ for exclusive concept viewing
Crewe facility played host to Autocar subscribers as company bosses talked us through the EXP 100 GT concept

The histories of Autocar and Bentley have frequently intertwined over the past century, but the Crewe-based luxury car maker set an entirely new standard earlier this month by treating 30 Autocar subscribers, plus their friends and partners, to an exclusive concept car world premiere of their own.

A few days earlier, the company had invited a strictly limited group of the world’s automotive journalists to Crewe to see the wraps come off the EXP 100 GT, a magnificent electric four-wheel drive luxury saloon concept, intended to show what luxury motoring could be like in 2035, from the points of view of styling, interior design, flexible accommodation, convenience and new materials that might be available. 

Similar in length (5.8m) to the longest Bentley Mulsanne limo in production, the 100 GT was configured both for autonomous and normal driving, under the theme of “extraordinary journeys", either with the steering wheel retracted and the car in full self-driving mode, or with the driver taking charge on enjoyable roads. 

Bentley board member Astrid Fontaine explained the thinking behind the car to our Autocar group, while head of exterior design JP Gregory talked about the key design cues of the EXP 100 GT. Afterwards, both took part in a Q&A involving Autocar and Bentley people.

Bentley 0086

The audience, who stayed for lunch, showed a keen appreciation of the car’s magnificent styling, and a passionate interest in the whole subject of electrification and the part it will play in 2035 motoring. But questions ranged far and wide, even including one reader’s forthright criticism of the shape of the current Bentley Bentayga SUV. Bentley’s diplomatic answer: it suits the customers who choose it, sir…

All attendees – readers (two of whom brought Bentleys of their own), Crewe staff and Autocar writers – enjoyed this special occasion, which is fortuitous because right across its long history, Autocar has set out to be more than a magazine (and lately a website) but also the centre of a thriving, like-minded, car loving community.


Read our review

Car review

This second-generation Flying Spur changes tack in its quest to become a slicker limousine

Back to top

We’re already hatching plans to stage more of these events, one of the first likely to be an Autocar visit to Plant Oxford, the Mini factory. Keep reading the magazine and website and we’ll publish full details. 

Read more

Bentley EXP 100 GT revealed as spectacular take on the grand tourer

Bentley centenary: 2019 Bentayga Speed meets 1919 EXP2

Bentley Flying Spur: riding up the hill at Goodwood​

Steve Cropley

Steve Cropley Autocar
Title: Editor-in-chief

Steve Cropley is the oldest of Autocar’s editorial team, or the most experienced if you want to be polite about it. He joined over 30 years ago, and has driven many cars and interviewed many people in half a century in the business. 

Cropley, who regards himself as the magazine’s “long stop”, has seen many changes since Autocar was a print-only affair, but claims that in such a fast moving environment he has little appetite for looking back. 

He has been surprised and delighted by the generous reception afforded the My Week In Cars podcast he makes with long suffering colleague Matt Prior, and calls it the most enjoyable part of his working week.

Add a comment…