Super-luxury-car builder Bentley jumps into the SUV fray with a new concept to be rolled out at the Geneva auto show this week.
Dubbed the EXP 9 F, the all-wheel-drive concept is powered by Bentley’s 6.0L 12-cyl. engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. But the auto maker says “all drivetrain options remain under consideration” for the SUV, including its new 4.0L V-8 engine and a hybrid powertrain.
The U.K.-based brand says in a statement the EXP 9 F “could herald a third Bentley model-line alongside the bespoke Mulsanne and the high-performanceGT, GTC and Flying Spur,” but adds it won’t make any definitive plans for production until customer and public reaction can be analyzed following the Geneva unveiling.
“A Bentley Grand Tourer doesn’t necessarily have to be a coupe, a convertible or a (sedan) – it could equally well be an SUV,” says Alasdair Stewart, head of sales and marketing. “What’s important is that it should be true to Bentley’s brand values and in line with the desires and needs of our customers.”
Exterior design cues include a matrix grille and round headlamps typical of other Bentleys, plus 23-in. alloy wheels. The rear lights are inspired by “the forms and details of fighter jet engines, uniquely designed so that they glow from within,” the auto maker says.
Seating is 4+1, and the interior features the usual blend of leather, wood and polished metals. A lower section of the 2-piece tailgate can be used as a bench or picnic table, and an awning extends over the tailgate to help block sun or rain.