As expected, Bentley released an SUV concept moments ago to be displayed at the Geneva Motor Show 2012. The new Sport Utility Vehicle concept, the Bentley EXP 9 F, is expected to begin a series of production SUV’s by luxury car brands. Many expect it to signify a third Bentley model-line alongside the bespoke Mulsanne and the high performance Continental GT, GTC and Flying Spur.
The EXP 9 F Concept is fitted with the Bentley 6.0 liter, twin-turbocharged W12 engine with an eight-speed transmission. However, Bentley also say the recently-launched 4.0 liter, twin-turbocharged V8 or a hybrid drivetrain could be placed up front. The 6.0 liter currently develops 600bhp and 800Nm of torque.
Three different driving modes are selectable, Comfort, Sport and Off-Road. The driver information TFT panel would be able to switch between satellite navigation on the motorway to a ‘sump cam’ when negotiating a bumpy track.
Key Bentley design cues such as the matrix grille, round lamps and the strong power-line and haunch along each flank have been added to the EXP 9 F. The Bentley EXP 9 F Concept features day-time running lamps and 23 inch alloy wheels with a centrally mounted wheel nut. The later is said to be a visual reference both to Bentley’s Le Mans racers of the 1920s and to the single nut found on the modern-day Speed 8’s high-tech racing alloys.
The low profile of the Bentley EXP 9 F ensures it retains sporting credentials. At the rear the SUV has a, two-part split tailgate and twin exhaust tailpipes. The design incorporates a panoramic glass panel.
Traditional handcrafted elements such as wood, leather and polished metals such as aluminium, bronze and gunmetal are used inside the Bentley EXP 9 F. Saddle leather is used for the seat backs, top roll and load-space. The drivers display features analogue bezels and dials paired with TFT ‘virtual’ instrumentation.
The EXP 9 F is a 4+1 seater. Rear seat passengers can chose between business mode, with generous legroom complete with fold-down keyboard and full internet connectivity via an iPad or tablet or a more reclined position with powered footrest, drinks table and an infotainment screen for movies. When the rear seats are not in use, they can be powered forward to create a larger loadspace.