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It’s doubtful that Walter Owen Bentley could ever have envisaged the current Bentley Continental Supersports we recently tested here at CarAdvice.

After all, it was almost a century ago that W.O. fired up his Bentley 3.0-litre engine and went on to claim five victories at Le Mans, along with wins at many other famous circuits.

It was the brand’s combination of reliability and speed on the racetrack, which made the road cars so successful in the 1920’s.

While the design of the Bentley Continental was light years ahead of the original 3-litre model, some cutting edge concepts from design students at London’s Royal College of Art may well push the brand into the next century.

Drawing on Bentley’s unique heritage of hand crafted, luxury cars that were genuinely fast, just four Vehicle Design Course Masters students have been shortlisted (from a total of eighteen invited) to refine their designs with Raul Pires, Head of Exterior Design at Bentley.

Both the winner and runner-up will be invited to join the company at their Crewe based headquarters for a sixth month secondment in the Bentley Design Studio.

The Head of Vehicle Design at the RCA, Professor Dale Harrow said:

“Working with Bentley has inspired these young designers to create a coupe for the 21st Century that embraces the latest aerodynamics technology. The Vehicle Design Course attracts postgraduate students from across the worldand it has been fascinating to see them make a connection with a British marque that has such a distinguished heritage.”

Raul Pires said that the overall standard extremely high, which convinced Bentley to add an extra place to the shortlist. Pires said:

“These four finalists have captured the essence of our brand, recognising what makes a Bentley instantly recognisable on the road. Just as importantly, they’ve embraced Exa’s leading edge technology and grasped that excellent design should always seek to enhance a car’s handling and performance, as well as optimising its environmental credentials.”

EXA Corporation is a US based fluids software company and their PowerFlow software was used to create cars like the Continental Supersports.

The four finalists will be working with Exa analysts and course tutors to refine their work before meeting Bentley design heads for the final review.

Those finalists are Bora Kim from South Korea, David Seesing from from Cologne in Germany, Marten Wallgren from Sweden and Mikka Heikkinen from Finland.

We look forward to announcing the winners and their final designs in due course.




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