If you've been following our series on Bentley's EXP 100 GT, you will by now be familiar with the luxury British car marque's ambitious vision for the not-so-distant future of automobile travel. But this vision has not been single-minded. The creation of the EXP 100 GT was a collaborative affair for a number of reasons, first among them that Bentley wanted to incorporate the very best British artisanal and technological expertise into the vehicle, but also because collaborative working is the process of the future. Bentley applied this way of thinking to the production of the EXP 100 GT, incorporating experts in niche fields to create a truly unique product on the one hand, but also to champion British makers on the other. The resulting teamwork speaks for itself...
Hand & Lock
Awarded the Royal Warrant in 1972 but established in 1767, Hand & Lock
are committed to sharing embroidery knowhow and inspiring the next generation of embroiderers. Using exquisite embroidery techniques and the traditional Trapunto method in a contemporary and architectural way, this technique was used on the door panels to merge the veneer into the flat Gainsborough Cotton Damask, enabling a seamless integration between the two distinctive materials, creating an illusion of continuity. "Over the nine months we worked with Bentley trialing different techniques and designs, experimenting with themes and ideas that reflected the overarching concepts behind the car design," explains Jessica Pile, Hand & Lock's Production Director. "The final embroidery design that was selected was a diamond shape pattern that morphed into organic shapes running along the door. The technique we used to achieve this was Trapunto, which allows us to create sculptural raised shapes by stitching outlines and then using cotton to inflate pockets. The finished effect is of an undulating, rippling textile surface. Our biggest challenge was working on such large piece of fabric. Bentley selected a fabric for the interior which was reinforced with a spacer fabric. This made the fabric difficult to fold or bend. We had to learn how to manoeuvre the fabric through and around the embroidery machines without damaging it."
Embodying over a century of British craftsmanship and integrity, using locally sourced natural dyes and a sustainable water system in the dying process, Gainsborough
was responsible for the cotton damask in the EXP 100 GT. The effect of the damask improved the ambience of the interior by deadening sounds and creating a cocooning environment.
"We developed and weaved the six bespoke panels used for the floor, doors and bulkhead of the EXP 100 GT," says Dominique Caplan, Gainsborough's Head of Design. "From the design to the woven ombre technique, each panel was a bespoke piece, engineered so that the pattern and gradation would flow seamlessly from one part of the car’s interior into the next. The details were of utmost importance and it was essential that every aspect of the design was perfect, from the lengths of each panel to the placement of the design. The five Bentley colours were all dyed specifically for the project in our on-site dye house and each colour was trailed and adjusted until it reached the exacting standards required. Likewise, each panel evolved with multiple adjustments made during the development process to the measurements of both the pattern and gradation to ensure the perfect continuation of colour and pattern across each surface. A new weave gradation technique was specifically developed for the project and the weavers were tasked with ensuring every panel was perfect. It was refreshingly challenging with many afternoons spent working closely with Bentley, brainstorming and working through different ideas and approaches. The finished article was worth the months of preparation and it was an absolute pleasure to work with a company whose standards are as exacting as our own."
Having created luxury, British-made carpets for over 200 years, Grosvenor Wilton
has created an exclusive ombre carpet combining brand new manufacturing technologies and heritage weaving methods for the interiors of this revolutionary car. "The Bentley EXP 100 GT looks to the future of luxury mobility, and our designers were keen to use the highest quality, British-made materials throughout," says Charles Annable, Grosvenor Wilton’s Managing Director. "Being one of the only carpet brands to make British made 100% wool carpets, Grosvenor Wilton was a clear choice. We used a brand new electronic jacquard technology to create the unique ombre effect wool carpet, created exclusively for the Bentley EXP 100 GT. It was essential for the quality of the final product to be the same as our hand-finished Wilton broadlooms. Ensuring the carpet yarn was dyed, woven and delivered to the prototype builder in the space of three weeks was a challenge – our normal production time is 10 weeks. There was a tremendous effort put in by all staff at Grosvenor Wilton to achieve the final carpet for the EXP 100 GT, we’re so proud to have been included in the process.” The yarn selected Grosvenor Wilton used was British Farmed Wool which comes from a rare breed of Herdwick sheep from the Lake District (they have been designated as protected since 2013) and its use contributes to their preservation. This wool is spun in Britain and then dyed in Yorkshire and woven in Worcestershire.
Bridge of Weir Leather
The development of a specialist handcrafted leather was the result of a collaboration between Bridge of Weir
designers and Bentley’s leather technicians especially for this project. They were challenged with the task of developing a new technique to infuse metallic surface finishes into ultra-soft buffed leather. This resulted in the creation of a new handspray process whereby the metallic surface finish transitions into a beautiful nubuck leather, creating a peach skin effect, copper tone. Importantly, the leather used in this process has the lowest carbon footprint in the world, with a closed loop zero waste process.
is an innovative lighting engineer and designer, and worked with Bentley on the EXP 100 GT to create the world’s first programmable 3D LED execution on a concept car. From a single 3D LED video screen, the passenger can control over 10,000 LEDs individually throughout the car, adding digital messaging and storytelling to the vehicle and its environment. "Bentley’s challenging design brief required a completely new approach to light design and engineering," explains Waldemeyer. "We created an innovative tool chain, seamlessly merging the latest in parametric design tools from the world of computational architecture with electronic circuit design software. This approach not only allowed the perfect 3D integration of light in the complex surfaces of the car, but also the turnaround of the project in record time."
What has been apparent throughout this exploration of the EXP 100 GT is that Bentley's approach to the future of car travel is not borne out of fantasy. Instead, the luxury car marque has a very clear vision and have roadmapped that very vision so that the technology that might today seem out of reach, will in a decade or less be very much at our fingertips. If you've enjoying discovering more about Bentley's unique take on what the future has in store for the grand tourer, head to bentleymotors.com
to learn more about the past, present and future of this historic British car maker.
Click here to find out more about the EXP 100 GT and explore Bentley's vision for the future.