Due to mixed reactions at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show for the front-end styling of the EXP 9 F ‘Falcon’ SUV, Bentley is reconsidering this feature, sources have told Autocar. It’s a positive thing though that very few visitors to the show doubted whether Bentley should have an SUV.
An insider told Autocar that this design, which was created during the leadership of current CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer, is a departure from its earlier SUV proposal that was distributed internally at Bentley about five or six years ago. The source talked about a chance for the styling to be modified as it proceeds to production.
The concept has a width of two meters and has to be made narrower to be at a size that’s more practical. The potential customers for the model would be its most important critics. Right after the show, the current Bentley owners and the conquests will tweak the design. Furthermore, Bentley is thinking about developing its own V8-based plug-in hybrid to use on the production car. The new powertrain will borrow from the MLB longitudinal engine platform of Volkswagen Group and is expected to have impressive figures for CO2 emissions and fuel economy.
A lot of the hybrid technology had been developed for the Porsche Cayenne and VW Touareg already. They both come with a V6 supercharged petrol engine. However, the V6 is believed to not have the power and image needed for the Falcon.
An insider said that having Bentley in the group can prove to be advantageous as they can borrow technology. The Falcon was designed to maximize driver’s visibility. It has a low dashboard and as the seating position is relatively high (at about 50mm higher than in a Cayenne) so that it could have a view over the broad bonnet that’s similar to what the Range Rover offers.