Since technology is rapidly changing, students in the program where challenged to “imagine how elements of physical materiality, technology and craftsmanship can be curated to create a truly luxurious grand touring experience.” Unsurprisingly, their creations look like nothing else on the road today.
While 24 designs were submitted, just four of them were deemed to be “particularly thought provoking.” Among them was Kate NamGoong’s Material Humanity concept which is a retro coupe with a streamlined body and massive wheels.
The retro theme continues even further as the car is envisioned to have an internal combustion engine and a steering wheel that will enable owners to drive the coupe. That doesn’t sound very revolutionary, but the future is increasingly looking electric and fully autonomous.
Jack Watson’s Stratospheric Grand Touring is the most extreme of the vehicle concepts as it looks more like a UFO than a car. There’s a pretty good reason for this as the vehicle is billed as a “luxury stratospheric transport” which can take-off and land vertically.
One of the more unique entries was Irene Chiu’s Luxury Soundscapes. Rather than a complete car, it’s a high-tech interior that can filter out undesirable sounds and stressful noises. She says this could help to improve the health and wellbeing of passengers in autonomous vehicles.
The final “thought provoking” model was created by Enuji Choi. Dubbed Elegant Autonomy, the concept focuses on the “etiquette of ingress and egress, and how it has evolved over time.”
According to Bentley Design Director Stefan Sielaff, “We wanted ideas and concepts that could potentially lead us in new and interesting directions, using the perspective of these digital natives – from all over the world – to see things differently.” He added, “These second-year students are the ones who will be designing the cars of the future … That’s why the results of the challenge are so exciting.”