Despite having fervently denied its intention to entertain the notion of an SUV, Bentley has decided to use this year’s Geneva Motor Show as an opportunity to showcase a potential third model in its line-up; the EXP 9 F SUV concept.
Design-wise, there’s no mistaking the EXP 9 F SUV for anything other than a Bentley. The rectangular mesh grille crowned with the Flying B logo and flanked by round, LED-studded headlamps and strong shoulder lines hint at cues lifted from the Mulsanne and Continental. There are also references to the company’s Blower Bentleys of the 1920s – most specifically daytime running lamp apertures with mesh finishing and turbine-style rifling that double as air intakes for the engine.
Power is provided by a twin-turbo W12 petrol engine coupled with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Developing 447 kW, this 6,0-litre unit will reportedly produce 0-100 km/h and top speed figures in that Bentley describes as “new benchmarks for the SUV sector.” The company’s new twin-turbo V8 and a hybrid drivetrain are also on the cards. Bentley has not included any specifics regarding the all-wheel drive architecture, but given the company’s connection with Volkswagen it won’t be difficult to source such componentry from the likes of Volkswagen or Audi.
“We are very excited by the potential of a high performance, ultra-luxury Bentley SUV. We know that many Bentley customers already own SUVs, admiring their style, luxury, performance and versatility. With EXP 9 F, Bentley is making a clear statement of intent that we have both the expertise and desire to meet and exceed their expectations.” Wolfgang Dürheimer, Chairman and Chief Executive, Bentley Motors.
Although touted as a concept, Bentley officials have strongly hinted that the EXP 9 F SUV could well form the third pillar in a model portfolio that includes the Mulsanne and Continental lines.