If you think electric cars are going to be boring, Bentley used the Geneva Motor Show to suggest otherwise, unveiling its 600bhp all-electric EXP12 Speed 6e supercar. According to the Crewe-based manufacturer, the concept “brings luxury ownership experience to the EV sector.”

The Speed 6e is also a sounding board, because the company is keen to gain feedback on its approach, which is “committed to offering an electric model in its future portfolio.” It certainly represents a big shift from its 6.0-litre W12 petrol engines, which return around 20mpg in the Continental GTC.

Bentley has applied all its expertise to the electric car formula, concentrating on material quality, refinement and performance to ensure they are in keeping with the rest of the range – or better. The near-silent running and immediate torque of electric motors could actually suit the British brand’s values rather well. The well-heeled are an impatient bunch though, and Bentley’s “vision” is that the Speed 6e could be charged by highspeed inductive plates. When this is not available, the Speed 6e can be plugged in via a socket hidden behind its rear numberplate – very James Bond.

Bentley is targeting uninterrupted trips between London and Paris or Milan and Monaco, meaning the Speed 6e would need a minimum range of between 250 and 300 miles. The Telsa Model S P100D currently has a maximum range of around 380 miles according to NEDC official figures.

As well as its innovative powertrain, the electric Bentley is also a styling exercise, featuring a centre console hewn from a single slab of curved glass containing a high-definition OLED display. This contains navigation, media and climate control information, which are predominantly controlled from the steering wheel. The passenger gets their own display, allowing them to access social media, emails and entertainment.

The exterior is pure roadster, with accentuated hips and a long rear deck, with white rollover hoops. The nose features a large mesh grille evoking memories of classic racing Bentley’s, and when running a hidden number ‘6’ illuminates behind it in the style of a Le Mans racing car. Large bonnet scoops not only add drama, they are also said to act as heat sinks for the battery pack and powertrain. Conventional door mirrors have been replaced with aerodynamic cameras inspired by stealth aircraft. While it’s not known if the Speed 6e will ever make production in a guise close to the concept, Bentley says, “the concept will open discussions with luxury car buyers of the future – millennials, members of Generation C and the rising affluent in developing economies” and that it points towards its future design direction. The luxury brand will launch its first alternative-fuel vehicle when the plug-in hybrid Bentayga SUV arrives in 2018.