I think it fair to say the Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 caught a lot of Geneva-goers by surprise. We knew there’d be a new concept here, but not that it would be so sleek, so attractive and so very, well, Bentley.
Bentleys of late have been purposeful, even brutal looking machines, but none in the recent past has really lived up to the style of some of the most beautiful Bentleys of its past, all the way from the 1990s Continental R to the 1950s R-type Continental and, before even then, the pre-war and vintage Bentleys built in Derby and Cricklewood.
Nor, to me at least, have they quite recaptured the original Bentley design philosophy that was, from the very start in 1919, to build cars of overwhelming driver appeal. Perhaps the Speed 6 is the sign that Bentley realises that now is the time not only to take Bentley to a new level in design, but in dynamics too.
I hope so. I expect the motivation behind the car is to offer reassurance to the better than 10,000 plus people who already buy a Bentley every year that, as it embarks on its SUV adventure, the company has not forgotten the cars that made it great in the first place. The Speed 6, if built and if it’s as good to drive as it is to look at, will provide a wonderful counterpoint to the Bentayga.