We've come a long way since the Porsche Cayenne first debuted back in 2002. It's no longer that shocking to have a premium, upscale sporty or ultra-luxury brand to launch or announce a sport-utility vehicle. But Bentley caused a stir nonetheless with the introduction of its EXP 9 F concept at the Geneva Motor Show. It certainly looks like nothing Bentley has built before. To help explain (defend?) the concepts heritage and pedigree, Bentley released this video giving some background on the concept's development.
The EXP 9 F represents the first time we've seen Bentley's long-promised SUV model. It looks like a taller version of other Bentley cars, with a giant mesh grille and quad circular lights on the front nose. An angular tailgate that splits into two pieces (one segment opens upward, the other downward to become a tray of sorts) recalls the Land Rover Range Rover. The interior is as opulent as other Bentley cars, with hand-stitched leather, wood trim, polished metal, and rear-seat drink tables.
"The car is very much a combination of extremes," Bentley senior exterior designer Crispin Marshfield says in the video. "It has to be sporting and luxurious, yet being an SUV, it has to have utilitarian capabilities."
The concept shown in Geneva employs the same twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W-12 engine with about 600 hp and 590 lb-ft, along with an eight-speed automatic transmission from the 2012 Bentley Continental GT and GTC. As Bentley has insisted the EXP 9 F won't use a new platform, we expect it to ride atop the chassis used by the Audi Q7,Volkswagen Touareg, and Porsche Cayenne.
Watch the video here to learn about the motivation behind the design of the Bentley EXP 9 F concept.
Written by Jake Holmes