Bentley to showcase unchanged EXP 9 F SUV concept at Beijing Motor Show

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 25, 2012

Even with the mixed public reaction that the EXP 9 F SUV concept received when it was unveiled in Geneva, Bentley will showcase it as is at the Beijing motor show in April. Some people had commented that the styling of the SUV was unrefined and awkward for an ultra-luxury brand.

However, Bentley is not worried. According to a company spokesperson, getting worldwide reaction from the public and the customers is part of the process that the concept is going through. The Volkswagen-owned UK company will proceed with the manufacturing of the EXP 9 F, Bentley's engineering boss Rolf Frech told Automotive News Europe earlier this month at the Geneva Motor Show.

It requires the SUV to stabilize its sales cycle, he added. At present, most of Bentley sales are attributable to the Continental range accounts.

The flagship Mulsanne sedan makes up the rest of the sales. Frech shared that when there are just two automobile lineups with life cycles that go almost equally down and up, one has to study what needs to be added. The EXP 9 F is the right automobile for the automaker to get the balance, he explained, adding that it gives them an "additional chance" in the emerging markets of China and the Middle East.

Frech believes that they will have "a lot of additional customers." A twin-turbo 12-cylinder gasoline powerplant runs the EXP 9 F. A production variant could also have the company's turbocharged V-8 gasoline unit and a hybrid powertrain. Through February, China was the biggest single market of Bentley with vehicle sales of 324 units. This is an increase by 66% from the same period last year. The United States follows closely with sales of 894 units, an increase by 29%. Worldwide sales were 894 units, a boost of 47%.

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