Is this what a Bentley will look like in 2050?

39w ago


When car companies ask students to create concepts, it’s guaranteed to be a bit weird. Students are almost solely fuelled by beer, noodles and Red Bull, and I don’t think that’s the sort of diet Chris Bangle or Peter Schreyer would have. Bentley is the latest company to hand the designer’s pen to acne-ridden millennials, and here’s what they came up with.

If you hadn’t guessed, the task was to create their idea of what a Bentley would look like in 2050, and it looks like we’re either heading towards an era when cars don’t look like cars at all, or one where everyone’s wearing steampunk outfits.

Perhaps the future of luxury travel is to get to places at incredible speed. After all, one of the truest forms of luxury is to have time to spare. Jack Watson’s ‘Stratospheric Grand Touring’ concept aims to bring everyone closer together, meaning it doesn’t matter where in the world you live. A millionaire’s private jet will look painfully slow in comparison, although what this would do to your internal organs isn’t worth thinking about.

Enuji Choi’s idea of 2050 is fairly close to what we have now. ‘Elegant Autonomy’ feels fairly similar to a Tesla autopilot from this picture, and is built for smart cities with self-driving machines. But, fittingly for Bentley, the vehicle would consider and adhere to British values of etiquette. Presumably it’d let everyone else go through before it and apologise every twelve seconds.

Another idea that doesn’t seem overly far-fetched is ‘Luxury Soundscapes’ by Irene Chiu. Her idea of opulence is only hearing what you want to hear – the only noises you’ll experience are positive, natural ones. Stressful or displeasing noises will be filtered out, leaving a serene cabin to enjoy Classic FM in crystal clarity. I think I’d rather hear a thumping 6.75-litre V8…

The fourth and final, er, finalist seems to share our view. Kate NamGoong sees that human-driven, internal combustion cars will still have a place – albeit a small one. Her ‘Material Humanity’ concept is based on the idea that luxury will involve the choice to occasionally enjoy ICE vehicles. Just like some of the most expensive watches, you’ll be able to see the mechanicals of the engine doing the ol’ suck-squeeze-bang-blow. This is something I’d like now, let alone in three decades’ time in a gorgeous art-deco speedster.

The students all attend the Royal College Of Art, and the final designs were picked out of a 24-strong selection. To Bentley’s design boss, these CAD sketches are concepts that “could potentially lead us in new and interesting directions.” He added that it’s interesting to use “the perspective of these digital natives – from all over the world – to see things differently.

“These second-year students are the ones who will be designing the cars of the future.”

What do you think?

I’m guessing I know which of these is your favourite, but what do you think the Bentley of the future will look like? Answers in the comments, please.