Bentley: Our new car is a tough guy in a Tom Ford suit

The Bentley EXP10 Speed 6 is one of most talked-about concept cars of the year. According to the automaker, it will be a focused sports car designed to compete with the Porsche 911s and Jaguar F-Types of the world.

“It’s a muscle-bound tough guy in a Tom Ford suit,” Bentley’s head of exterior design Sangyup Lee told Business Insider. “It’s the bad-boy Bentley.”

This all makes perfect sense. The “Speed 6” moniker is perhaps the most sacred in Bentley’s century-long history. The original Speed 6s, a series of terrifyingly potent track cars built from 1926-1930, helped put the company on the map by reeling off back-to-back victories at the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race in 1929 and 1930.

As important as the race wins are to Bentley, the men who won those races are of even greater importance. Known as the “Bentley Boys,” they were fierce competitors by day and suave gentlemen by night.

Bentley 1927 victory dinner held at the Savoy five days after the raceBentleyThe Bentley Boys celebrating a victory in 1927.

This is the legacy that Bentley wants to evoke with the EXP10 Speed 6.

Bentley’s goal is to remind its customers that the brand is more than just a purveyor of luxurious vehicles for pop idols and oil sheiks. It can also build barely civilized cars for exceptionally civilized drivers.

That mindset can certainly be found in the proportions of the car. The body has been widened and the wheels pushed to the far edges of each corner. As a result result, the handsome Speed 6 is exhibits the broad shoulders and stocky build of an English bulldog or a prize fighter.

In many ways, the EXP10 is British interpretation of an American muscle car, Lee said.

So when will we be able to buy this car? No one knows for sure yet, but if it does go into production, don’t expect to see it in showrooms for at least three more years, Bentley Chairman Wolfgang Durheimer said at the New York Auto Show.

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