Given the likely customer profile for a Bentley (wealthy), it’s no surprise that there has been a positive response to the company’s proposal to build a sport-utility. A natural alternative the Range Rover may be, but it isn’t, well, a Bentley. The question is, what did potential buyers think of the EXP 9F concept SUV presented at last year’s Geneva show (below right)? Our view at the time was that it looked unresolved from certain angles, commanding from others, but we conceded that translating the Bentley styling wasn’t going to be easy.
Bentley didn’t go into detail about the new car, though as part of the VW group it would have plenty of expertise to draw on in both drivetrain and SUV areas. The EXP 9F, for example, featured a 450 kW/800 N.m 6,0-litre twin turbocharged W12 engine.
The SUV, Bentley’s fourth product line, will go on sale in 2016. The company plans to pump about R1,2 billion over the next three years into new-model development and its headquarters at Crewe in the UK.
Given that the Frankfurt Show in September is on the VW group’s home turf, we may yet see more of the SUV there.