Bentley has been hinting at the possibility of a full-size luxury SUV for a few years now and it recently became a reality at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. Of course, still in its concept form, the British auto manufacturer’s new vehicle named the EXP 9 F will bring the company a lot of attention – whether negative or positive.
The company is calling the concept car a “compelling new take on the Grand Touring Bentley”, one that could possibly give birth to a third model line joining the existing Mulsanne and Continental lines. Bentley likes to think that the car will be “equally at home at an opera gala performance, on the sand dunes and the overtaking lane of the autobahn.” However, it’ll be Bentley’s client base that determine the truth to that.
So why did the luxury auto maker go for an SUV? A reason for this includes that most of Bentley’s customers already own SUVs as the car becomes more of a necessity than a fad. So, adding a high performance sports-utility vehicle to its lineup will attract new customers and pull more money from existing loyal client’s bank accounts.
Of course, Bentley couldn’t just create an SUV that would easily compete with others on the market, rather the “EXP 9 F had to represent the absolute pinnacle of the sport utility sector, setting a new benchmark for this type of vehicle,” says director of design, Dirk van Braeckel.
The design elements that make Bentley recognizable were preserved from the matrix grille and round lamps to the signature character lines. In addition, the daytime running light apertures have a double role, serving as intakes for the W12 engine’s charge coolers. On each of them a turbine fan design is supported. The same turbine theme is carried over to the 23 inch alloy wheels. The rear of the car showcases taillamps inspired by how the engines on a jet fighter look, glowing from within.
The interior of the car also displays the traditional luxury Bentley elements with leather, wood and polished metal. A functional element has also been added with reversible mats catering for the great outdoors with saddle leather and the big city with silk wool.
What would a Bentley be without champaign and state of the art technology? Mounted tablet computers are available when the seats are in their normal position, while the central armrest houses a cooling compartment for champagne and glasses. There is room for 4+1 passengers and the rear seats can be folded for increased cargo space.
3D navigation will be installed on the concept car and the driver can choose from 3 modes: Sport, Comfort and Off-Road.