It’s time to put an end to all of the rumors surrounding the future Bentley SUV by talking about the real deal. Bentley has unveiled the EXP 9 F at the Geneva Motor Show. This luxury Sport Utility Vehicle concept previews the company’s third model alongside the Mulsanne and the Continental ranges.
The new EXP 9 F looks just how one would expect a Bentley SUV to look. The designers basically took the standard Bentley styling cues and hiked it up to an SUV level. It features Bentley’s famous matrix grille and round lamps, as well as an ultra-wide, two-part split tailgate and twin exhaust tailpipes.
The engine for the EXP 9 F, however, still remains a mystery. The concept was built with a 6.0 liter, twin-turbocharged W12 engine under the hood, but the company says that, for the production version, both a 4.0 liter, twin-turbocharged V8 or a hybrid drivetrain could meet the performance requirements.
UPDATE 07/06/2012: Bentley has unveiled a new set of images and a new video for their new EXP 9 F concept. Enjoy!
UPDATE 11/20/12: There’s word that Bentley has come up with a name for the production EXP 9 F. While there’s no official confirmation, but it looks like the SUV will be dubbed as the Falcon.
UPDATE 02/03/13: The Falcon has come and gone. That much appears to be the case after word has come out that Bentley has gone ahead and thrown the EXP 9 F to the dustbin. Can’t say we’re surprised, fellas.
Hit the jump to read more about the Bentley EXP 9 F concept.
"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 new EXP 9 F was designed under the leadership of Dirk van Braeckel, Director of Design and represents "a dream project, the chance to create a completely new type of Bentley." Its exterior is bold and dynamic and combines clean, muscular surfaces with signature character lines. At the front of the SUV, Bentley has placed its usual matrix grille and round lamps. The day-time running lamp apertures also act as the charge cooler air intakes for the twin-turbo W12 engine.
The concept sits on a special set of 23" alloy wheels in a turbine design that was inspired by the shape of turbine fan blade. At the rear, the concept received an ultra-wide, two-part split tailgate and twin exhaust tailpipes with "rifled" inner surfaces. The rear lights are inspired by the forms and details of fighter jet engines.
"The challenge for the interior design team was to create a cabin which provides a blend of luxury and utility. The result is a light and airy environment with a commanding view of the road and a versatile layout which showcases Bentley’s craft and design language in an innovative and contemporary way."
The new EXP 9 F is an SUV which means it should be sporty, but it’s also a Bentley which is the definition of luxury. The interior combines materials like wood, leather, and polished metals such as aluminum, bronze, and gunmetal to create a sense of British luxury.
The dashboard was made in wood veneer combined with the traditional Bentley "bulls eye" vents on a "rifled" gunmetal inner surface for a more contemporary and functional appearance. The flowing roof was inspired by the roll cages of rally cars and features a panoramic glass panel.
The concept has a 4+1 capacity and the passengers can choose 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.
Bentley has also placed TFT touchscreen technology that allows the driver to select between three different driving modes – Comfort, Sport, and Off-Road.
The Bentley EXP 9 F is powered by a 6.0 liter, twin-turbocharged W12 engine combined with an 8-speed transmission, but Bentley says that for the production version both 4.0 liter, twin-turbocharged V8 or a hybrid drivetrain could meet the performance requirements.
When Can I Buy One?
A production version of the EXP 9 F is not expected until late 2014, so no one should dream about driving the Bentley SUV before early 2015.
Bentley has built their new EXP 9 F SUV as a direct competitor for models like the Porsche Cayenne, but its suggested price of $140,000 will also make it one of the most expensive SUVs offered on the market.
Looks very aggressive
We love those 23" wheels
Just a concept
Production version will be very expensive