At the Geneva Motor Show, Bentley just unveiled the EXP 9 F SUV concept, a bold move that will no doubt have purists grumbling—until they get behind the wheel.

Bentley just unveiled the EXP 9 F concept in Geneva

A natural extension of the traditional Grand Touring Bentley that’s been a benchmark for luxury and style for several decades, the EXP 9 F is designed to feel equally at home at a black-tie gala, on the sand dunes and in the overtaking lane of the autobahn.

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EXP has long been the designation of Bentley’s experimental models, many of which have gone on to become automotive legends, while the F stands for falcon, the “powerful, refined and agile” bird of prey that inspired some of the new concept’s design characteristics.

The EXP 9 F could herald a third Bentley model-line

If it gets the green light, the EXP 9 F could herald a third Bentley model-line alongside the bespoke Mulsanne and the high-performance Continental GT, GTC and Flying Spur.

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Given Porsche’s success with the Cayenne and the imminent arrival of SUVs from the likes of Maserati and Aston Martin, a Bentley SUV makes more sense than it might appear at first.

Power, performance, advanced technology and handcrafted luxury

“For many customers, a dramatically styled Bentley all-wheel drive SUV, which combines a spacious, versatile cabin and commanding driving position with Bentley’s hallmark power, performance, advanced technology and handcrafted luxury, would be a natural choice both on and off-road,” the company notes.

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Translation: “We’re going to make a mint.”

Custom features like a built-in picnic set, perfect for a day at the races

Of course, an SUV provides lots of opportunities for custom features like a built-in picnic set, perfect for a day at the races and such.

Check out the details Bentley has released so far below and stay tuned for more…

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Power & Performance:

Although the EXP 9 F concept is based around the Bentley 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged W12 engine with an 8-speed transmission, both the company’s recently launched 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 or a hybrid drivetrain could meet the performance requirements of a pinnacle luxury SUV.

The W12 6.0-litre powertrain could develop 600 bhp and 800 nm of torque with key performance indicators like the top speed and 0 to 60 mph sprint time, all setting new benchmarks for the SUV sector.

Exterior: 

  • Signature Bentley cues such as a matrix grill, round lamps, and strong power-line and haunch along each flank
  • Turbine theme of the 23-inch alloy wheels, which includes spokes reminiscent of the shape of turbine fan blades
  • Rear lights inspired by the forms and details of fighter jet engines

Interior:

  • Light, airy, contemporary cabin design with exquisite British “sporting” detailing such as handcrafted wood, leather and polished metal elements
  • Panoramic glass panel roof design that is inspired by the roll cages of rally cars
  • Luxurious and reversible silk wool floor mats: one side finished in durable ribbed saddle leather
  • One-piece wood veneer dashboard

Technology:

  • Touchscreen and tailored interface technologies throughout the car
  • 3D navigation flanked by two analogue reverse-read dials
  • Rear seat business mode with a fold-down keyboard and Internet connectivity via an iPad or tablet, powered footrest and a infotainment movie screen
  • Cooled compartment for champagne and glasses under rear armrest
  • Two-piece tailgate that may be used as a viewing bench or a picnic table