"What will British luxury mean in 2050?"
Want to know what the Bentley Continental GT, Bentayga, or Mulsanne might look like thirty years from now? Better ask the students. That's what Bentley did with its latest project, collaborating with second-year pupils in the Intelligent Mobility program at the Royal College of Art. And these are some of the designs they came up with.
"We wanted ideas and concepts that could potentially lead us in new and interesting directions," noted Stefan Sielaff, Bentley's design director and an RCA alum. "These second-year students are the ones who will be designing the cars of the future – the taste makers in training, if you will."
From among 24 projects submitted, Bentley's design team and the RCA lecturers selected four, and offered guidance in their completion. One student, Irene Chiu, focused on "Luxury Soundscapes" to envision what the high-end automobile of the future might sound like after internal-combustion engines become a thing of the past, filtering out undesirable noises and leaving only "pleasurable bioacoustics" to permeate the cabin space.
In "Material Humanity," Kate NamGoong predicted that vehicle occupants will want a more direct connection to the mechanical workings of the automobile – much like they would with a wristwatch – whether they're driving the vehicle or being driven in (or by) it.
"Stratospheric Grand Touring" by Jack Watson melds aircraft design with that of the automobiles that Bentley has produced over the course of its 100-year history. And with "Elegant Autonomy," Enuji Choi conceptualized the city car of 2050, and how British notions of elegance and etiquette will translate to cars in the future.
"How do you make tomorrow's personal journey an emotional experience, as evolving culture, disruptive technology and personal desires change tomorrow's car?" asked Dr. Chris Thorpe, Senior Tutor in Intelligent Mobility at the RCA. "Our students tackled that question when Bentley asked them to look at automotive luxury over the next 30 years."