Geneva Show – EXP 9 F concept is Bentley’s first SUV
This is it, Bentley’s very first SUV. The oddly named (and looking) EXP 9 F concept has been introduced this month at the Geneva Motor Show and as you can see it’s not quite a looker, to say the least. This concept is motivated by a reworked version of the current W12 6.0-liter gasoline engine which will be the flagship model, but if the car will get the green light for production it will also get smaller V8 and V6 engines for the more affordable versions.
Wolfgang Durheimer who is the company’s CEO believes that the EXP 9 F has a big potential in emerging markets like Russia and China, but also mentions that the automaker’s most important market continues to be the United States which as we all know is where the full-size SUV is praised.
If the production model will be launched it will have a different name, and estimates show that this could turn out to be the bestselling model in the company’s prolific history. The initial production is estimated at approximately 3,500 units and as the markets will develop, it could be increased up to 5,000 cars.
In 2011, the Continental and the Mulsanne were sold in a total of 7,000 units, and Durheimer says that an increase of production will be possible at the company’s modern factory in Crewe without any efforts. The current production at this Bentley plant is done in just one shift, while with a possible two-shift program the British automaker could roll out 15,000 cars each year.
The idea behind this SUV belongs to Durheimer who was also the person who pushed the introduction of the Porsche Cayenne a decade ago, even though there was some strong opposition. Soon after the car it was launched, the Cayenne became the company’s bestselling vehicle.
It seems that if the production version will be launched, this SUV from Bentley will be equipped with an 8-speed automatic gearbox from ZF and a group-derived permanent 4WD system. The interior cabin promises to be not only luxurious but stylish as well, with an emphasis of high quality leather and wood, as well as more equipment than any other sport utility vehicle, at least that’s what Bentley is saying.
Hopefully, if there will be indeed a production model, they will do something about that front styling of the car as the concept version looks hideous in our opinion. The car hasn’t managed up until now to win the full approval of the board so it’s not certain that there will be a production model SUV from Bentley.
Source: Bentley via Autocar
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