Power, Luxury Meet Mother Nature

When you think of Bentley, most people conjure up images of refinement, grace and traditional craftsmanship. But since 1998, when VW took over as Bentley Motors’ new owners, Bentley has shifted into high gear and moved away from the gilded luxury barges that barely differentiated them from their previous owners Rolls Royce. Now designer Gabriel Tam, at the Royal College of Art, has re-imagined an even more aggressive Bentley. Not by adding more horses or gold plated emblems, but by tackling the issue of aerodynamics. Using the specialized EXA evaluation software PowerFlow, Gabriel was able to achieve an almost perfect drag coefficient. This “Bentley Aero Ace – Speed VI” concept is a celebration of Bentley Motors illustrious racing heritage and looks to inspire Bentley designs for a new generation of greener and meaner British muscle cars, while maintaining enough luxury to make a Russian billionaire joke on his vodka. The vehicle features innovative designs such as:

  • Double wishbone suspension integrated within the adjustable front spoiler / aerofoil
  • Air intake for electric motors cooling, feeding out to twin rear heat exhaust ducts
  • Integrated diffusers aid air flow and create down force
  • Semi enclosed wheel with heat ducts for lower drag

Designer: Gabriel Tam


  • mif991 says:

    What is the “almost perfect drag coefficient”? Was there a model actually made? I want to like it, but it doesn’t offer anything striking or new.

  • brian t says:

    I don’t understand why these designers keep using existing brand names. If it’s a computer-related device, you know someone’s going to call it an Apple something, because fashion-conscious designers only use Apple computers.

    Do they have permission from the company in question to do this? Would the design make sense without the brand name? It seems to me like an attempt to piggyback on a company’s reputation, to give a design a “gloss” it doesn’t deserve.

    • reality says:

      defo agree, without the prestige of the badge here this would be a nothing project that resembled a boiled sweet. they are merely riding out the success of the brand. yanko should refuse to publish any branded designs without an email of agreement from the brand owner.

    • Lude says:

      In schools (which, if I´m not mistaken, this project was made for a transportation design school), you need to choose a brand to base your project on.
      Why? Because it´s harder to make a project with specific name and heritage design cues then something out of the blue (where mostly, anything goes).

      So, I don´t think it´s piggyback, it´s just something you have to do, these projects are made to evaluate students, so the harder, the better.

    • mif991 says:

      At Art Center you do student designs for a specific brand. It is not illegal and they are just concepts. Car companies encourage this because they want forward thinking future designers for their staffs…. Just critique the design…believe me nowbody at Bentley is losing sleep over this.

      • reality says:

        i dont think schools or universities should encourage the use of other companies brands without their specific permission. bentley are well within their rights to have this post removed as it does violate their copyrighted trade mark and logo. it is very ignorant to assume its ok.

        • Lude says:

          Well, it´s comon practice in every transportation design school, there are even direct cooperation between both the school and some car brands.

          The car makers don´t care that much about the use of their brand, since it´s free publicity and sometimes new ideas.

          By what you say, you are calling ignorant to pretty much every school that does this, which is almost everyone, if not every single one…

          Also, I don´t see the problem, even if outside the school enviroment, most of these projects are self-promoting projects, not projects to sell or to make the designer make money directly (for example, selling the idea to another car company, which would be stupid, since that car company can´t use it).

          Most designers makes it and so far, I didn´t saw car companies offended by it.

          Frankly, I think it´s a non-question.

          And another question, you don´t even know if the designer asked permission or not, since he´s from Royal College of Art, which has collaborations with english brands, he probably made this with bentley, as a style exercize.

          So I think you are pretty much overreacting.

      • brian t says:

        OK, I can see why some might do it in schools, even though I disagree with it. You shouldn’t have to worry about such things when you’re learning.

        I’m not concerned about schools. I’m concerned about COMMERCIAL uses, such as appearing on this website. (Yes, this is a commercial site: it has ads for products, including some sold in the Yanko Design Store.)

        • Lude says:

          Yes, Yanko has ads and is selling products, by is that the only thing that it does? No, this is design news site, that has tons of new ideas, from tons of designers around the world, so, i don´t see the problem.

          Also, is the news about an upcoming car? Does it tell anything about being sold or a price range? No, the news says it´s a new interpretation by a designer from an art school.

          The only problem would be if Yanko was annoucing this was going to be sold, IF it didn´t had the permission of Bentley it would be a problem, but this is just an style exercize on a design site, nothing else.

          • Gabriel says:

            Just to clear things up, the project was done as a college project in co-operation with Bentley and Exa (CFD specialist). The aim of the project was to create an aerodynamically efficient next gen Bentley coupé design. The design was refined (with the help of Exa) over a month long period to get the best Cd result.

            As for the debate of of using a brand, I’m personally not a proponent of it. But if it’s an official collaboration or if the student is sponsored by that particular company then the case is pretty clear. The final year project I’m working on now is non branded, as to give me as much freedom to explore my creativity as possible.

            In many cases the concept of the design run the risk of being diluted because the normal punters (myself included) has preconceived idea about certain brand…ie Audi > avant-garde or BMW’s flame surfacing. So if the new design looks radically different or don’t have the anticipated design elements, we would go “that’s not an Audi!” It works both way, I would say some student perfer to brand their design to lend it some credential.

            btw I didn’t personally say “almost perfect drag coefficient”.

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