Bentley unveiled their first SUV at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. The Bentley EXP 9 F Concept is the long awaited SUV by the British manufacturer of luxury cars. The new Sport Utility Vehicle concept ‒ the EXP 9 F ‒ is a completely new type of Bentley. From the very beginning, the design team had a clear vision for the new Bentley SUV, as Dirk van Braeckel, Director of Design, explains:
EXP 9 F had to represent the absolute pinnacle of the sport utility sector, setting a new benchmark for this type of vehicle. The style had to reflect Bentley’s sporting character despite its radically different package and purpose together with sculptured, flowing surfaces in keeping with the Bentley tradition.
The ‘F’ in ‘EXP 9 F Concept’ stands for falcon. As Bentley explains:
The outstanding characteristics of this unique animal have guided the concept phase. Falcons are the fastest moving creatures on earth, recorded at speeds of over 300km/h. Powerful, refined and agile a falcon is the epitome of high performance.
The EXP 9 F is powered by a re-engineered version of the existing 6.0-liter petrol W12 engine but it’s also rumored the SUV will also be available with a V8 diesel engine or a V6-based plug-in hybrid powertrain. Power is transferred to all four wheels via an eight-speed transmission.
The SUV is based on the same platform used in the other Volkswagen Group large SUVs including the next Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg. Production could start in 2015 and Bentley wants to build 3500 units a year.