We’re finally at the concluding chapter of (to borrow a lovely phase by a friend and colleague Stephen Bayley) the ‘age of combustion’. I say finally, because ever since I stumbled upon the automotive world (quite by chance some decades ago) we’ve been promised a new beginning, a more progressive landscape of non-polluting transport that isn’t showy, isn’t congesting cities and isn’t harming the planet. And it has taken a mighty long time for this transition to actually happen. But it is here, and I’m having strangely mixed emotions.
As I drive the last few gasoline powered cars (I’m referring to lean and sexy grand tourers and sports cars, not bloated SUVs) I’m sensing a touch of loss, perhaps even a little sense of nostalgia. Who would have thought. For all its shortcomings, the age of combustion gave us some incredible beauty, lots of sexiness and so much desire, even if the last two were often a little on the side of cliche.
Will these raw emotions survive the age of electric? Or the age of autonomous? Better question, do they need to? Can’t a car just be a smart, safe place to take us from place to place and not have to communicate so many extra layers? Or will the age of electric, hydrogen, autonomous, space… bring even more exciting emotions to the road?
The car of the age of the future will need to find its own expression. And that in itself will be interesting to observe. But for now take a look at a car that to me seems like the perfect farewell ode to the age of combustion, the Bentley Continental GT Speed.
English wineries have been building somewhat of a reputation for a crisp, dry sparkling wine with a blended cool-climate grape variety, and made to the classic méthode champenoise. Are they disrupting Champagne, the pinnacle of sparkling wine? We set out on a road trip to meet the makers and see the vineyards. Read the full story in Forbes here
I’ve been exploring some interesting mobility concepts lately. Together they tell a compelling story of the multi-transport model we should expect in the future. This, of course, isn’t a new way of mobility. The motor car, train, tram, bus, aeroplane, helicopter, taxi, hitchhike, cycle, walk, carriage, horse, carriage, donkey – we have long explored on a variety of ways to move about. Yet these solutions are navigating our ever more complex worlds. Here are some of the ones that caught my eye:
Citroën Ami One, an urban run-around more akin to a personal gadget. Audi e-tron Scooter, an electric scooter offering a ride like a skateboard. Bentley EXP 100 GT, a vision for sustainable luxury travel in the future. Lilium Jet, an electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft for 2025. Gacha by Muji, the autonomous all-weather electric bus.
As traditional carmakers study what their place will be in the next chapter of the automobile, this EXP 100 GT by Bentley Motors sets out to explore luxury in the context of clean autonomous travel in an imaginary world of 2035.
The form may follow a classic motor car design theme, yet it is conceptually and materially where the EPX 100 really makes a distinctive statement.