You have to wonder if Bentley regrets revealing their EXP 9 F – the Bentley SUV – at Geneva in the Spring?
Few seem to object too strongly to the idea of Bentley making an SUV – it’s a money-maker, after all – but the consensus was that Bentley had failed to present a convincing concept. Looking more like a truck than a sleek Bentley SUV, EXP 9 F was a bit of a design let-down.
But if Bentley had rolled out EXP 9 F at Beijing for the first time, maybe we’d all have been a bit kinder? In the OTT atmosphere of East meets West with Chinese clones rubbing shoulders with stretched and pimped China specials from the world’s biggest car makers, maybe Bentley’s SUV would have seemed more palatable?
Still, what’s done is done, but with no changes to the SUV concept Bentley need to sprinkle some news dust on their SUV offering, so they’ve dished up details of what will be under the brick-shaped bonnet. Sort of.
Bentley seem to be thinking out loud rather than giving us specifics of the likely powertrains for the EXP 9 F, and their thoughts are pretty much what’s been speculated on so far.
Top billing goes to the new Bentley V8 from the Continental GT delivering something around 500bhp – the same engine we expect Lamborghini to acquire and fettle for the Urus.
Bentley also say they are planning to fit the 6.0 litre W12 to their SUV – the perfect range-topping, big bragging rights choice for China and the Middle East – and are toying with a V6 plug-in hybrid too with a 30km EV range offering 130g/km emissions and still capable of a 0-60mph sprint in under 5 seconds. Which sounds promising.
Bentley boss, Wolfgang Dürheime, said:
We are very excited by the potential of a high performance, ultra-luxury Bentley SUV. Since we first showed EXP 9 F at Geneva, the response has been overwhelming. Everyone seems to agree that an SUV is a natural fit for Bentley. An exciting range of drivetrain options including a hybrid V6 are under active consideration but one thing is for sure, any Bentley SUV would offer the thunderous performance for which the marque is renowned.
Which is good to know. Now we just need to see a revised design