Teased: Bentley SUV will go into production in 2016, plug-in hybrid version arrives in 2017

Article by Christian A., on May 27, 2014

The official countdown to the arrival of the new Bentley SUV started today as the British carmaker releases the first video teasing the new vehicle. Bentley promises that its new SUV will set new standard in bespoke craftsmanship and performance. In addition, the new Bentley will be world’s most powerful and luxurious SUV.

According to the official press release, the Bentley SUV will go into production in 2016, while the plug-in hybrid version will arrive in 2017. For those who don’t know, the new Bentley SUV will be inspired by the EXP 9 F Concept that was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in 2012.

”A new film just released by Bentley – offering a rare glimpse of the company’s design approach – shows how the exterior of this remarkable new car is taking shape. Sculpted, contemporary and distinctive design is being combined with the exquisite and meticulous detailing for which Bentley is renowned.” said the press release.

The plug-in hybrid version could use a smaller V6 engine as well as an electric motor. Bentley previously said that the plug-in hybrid SUV could offer a 30 km range in full electric mode, while CO2 emissions will be 130 g/km. Regarding its performances, the plug-in hybrid version of the Bentley SUV will be capable to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than 5 seconds.

In the concept form, the Bentley SUV used a 6.0-liter W12 engine that delivered around 600 hp and 400 Nm of torque. Still, Bentley will also offer the smaller 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine that will deliver over 500 hp. Bentley’s new SUV is expected to have a starting retail price of 200,000 euros or $272,000.

Designers know that the EXP 9 F was indeed a dream project as it offered the opportunity to make a new Bentley from scratch. Because this was a new Bentley, the team in-charge of the style was able to take an approach to the design that was more progressive. The result is an exterior that has the trademarked character lines of the brand, combined with the muscular and clean surfaces.

Overall, the exterior is able to give a dynamic and bold statement. Even with these changes, the EXP 9 F still has power and luxury, qualities present in a pure and authentic Bentley. The other Bentley cues are still there like the haunch and striking power-line on each of the sides, the round lamps, and of course, the matrix grille. One main difference however is that for the EXP 9 F, these have all been all reinterpreted. Having the innovative detailing though and design language that is clearly “hewn from solid,” helps highlight the tough quality of the brand’s high-luxury SUV.

The design itself, according to the design team, was not just to give the EXP 9 F a more functional character but to also have the “visible engineering” made famous by none other than the Blower Bentleys. A good example of this is the openings of the daytime running lamps. In addition to offering visibility, it also helps to charge the cooler air intakes of the model’s twin-turbo W12 engine.

Each of the openings has that “rifled” inner surface finish and mesh-covered turbine fan design. Director of Design Dirk van Braeckel shares that for Bentley’s newest SUV, the design team set a clear object.

For the team, he says, this model had to show the height that the sports utility sector can reach. It should also be able to set new standards for SUVs. Director van Braeckel continues by saying that the EXP 9 F needed to have a style that would display the athletic qualities of the brand even if it was made for a different purpose and came in a different package. He adds that this is combined with the flowing and sculptured surfaces, a long help tradition of the brand.

Topics: bentley, suv, production

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