Bentley Motors will soon decide whether to produce an ultra-luxury sports utility vehicle, chief executive Wolfgang Schreiber disclosed. The ultra-luxury SUV would be underpinned by same platform that underpins Audi, Volkswagen and Porsche vehicles. Bentley is expected to unveil the ultra-luxury SUV within three years.
According to Schreiber, the styling of the ultra-luxury SUV will look more like the rest of the Bentley brand than the controversial design of the Bentley EXP 9F Concept that was previewed at the 2012 Geneva auto show. During the Detroit auto show, Schreiber said that the main intention was not to show the final styling but to get feedback from the market. He remarked that people who saw the styling would say, “that is a real Bentley.”
Schreiber said that the ultra-luxury SUV will likely be powered by an eight-cylinder engine or an optional W-12. The carmaker’s CEO said that although Bentleys are luxury cars, people like its effortless acceleration and torque-y engines. Bentley also will share a platform with Audi or Porsche for the next generation of its Continental GT coupe, GTC convertible and Flying Spur sedan that are set to arrive in five years, according to Schreiber.
The new Bentley EXP 9 F would be a dream project for any designer, as it gives them a great opportunity to design a new Bentley car. Dirk van Braeckel, Director of Design at Bentley, remarked that right from the start, the design team has already set a clear goal for the new Bentley SUV.
He quipped that they intended the EXP 9 F to be a representative of the absolute pinnacle of the SUV segment by setting a new benchmark. While the EXP 9 F would have a radically different package than other Bentley vehicles, its design has to represent the brand’s sporting character, as evidenced by its sculptured, flowing surfaces.
Since the Bentley EXP 9 F marks the carmaker’s venture into a new class of vehicle, the styling team was able to thread on a more progressive design approach. This resulted to a bold and aggressive exterior marked by clean yet muscular surfaces and signature character lines.
The exterior of the EXP 9 F features a number of reinterpreted Bentley design cues, like the round lamps and the matrix grille as well as the strong power-line and haunch on the flanks. This new SUV from Bentley adheres to the so-called “hewn from solid” design language, as accentuated by innovative detailing.
Bentley’s designers took inspiration from the functional nature of EXP 9 F as well as by the 'visible engineering' of the vaunted Blower Bentleys. For instance, the apertures on the daytime running lamps also serve intakes for cooling air for the twin-turbo W12 engine. Each aperture features a mesh-covered turbine fan design with 'rifled' inner surface finish.