23/04/2012 Bentley announces more details of 4x4 EXP 9 F
At its stand at the 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, Bentley Motors has revealed further details of its luxury SUV concept, the EXP 9 F. Still officially a concept, the car could be powered by a variety of engines, including a plug-in hybrid.
As another step down the road to building the controversial 4x4 that made its international debut at this year’s Geneva Show, the Crewe company says, “A range of advanced powertrains under consideration include a 500bhp 4.0-litre V8 Twin Turbo and a V6 plug-in hybrid, in addition to the flagship 6.0-litre W12 engine.”
Interestingly, no mention is made of a ‘super-diesel’ despite parent group VAG’s excellence in that area (the latest 3.0 BiTDI and the older V10 diesel spring to mind).
Speaking in Beijing, Wolfgang Dürheimer, Chairman and Chief Executive, Bentley Motors said: “We are very excited by the potential of a high-performance, ultra-luxury Bentley SUV. Since we first showed EXP 9 F at Geneva, the response has been overwhelming. Everyone seems to agree that an SUV is a natural fit for Bentley. An exciting range of drivetrain options including a hybrid V6 are under active consideration but one thing is for sure: any Bentley SUV would offer the thunderous performance for which the marque is renowned.”
Few doubt that Bentley will put the car into production, particularly considering Dürheimer’s background at Porsche and his masterminding of the Cayenne 4x4 – a model that has been such a success for the company.
Currently doing well both in existing Western markets (thanks to the recently launched, highly acclaimed V8 Continental GT and GTC) and the still-booming Far East (with more traditional four-doors, extravagantly optioned), the addition of a luxury SUV with a commanding driving position and the ability to handle less-than-perfect roads makes a lot of sense.