Bentley sets out engine options for future SUV

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When Bentley unveiled its EXP 9 F SUV concept car at the Geneva Motor Show, the reaction was largely negative. But the company is holding its nerve, and far from dropping the EXP 9 F, or at least rejigging it in order to meet some of the criticisms of its styling, Bentley has been pushing it again at the Beijing Motor Show, this time setting out the likely powertrain options.

At the top end, there would be a 6.0-litre W12 engine, a configuration already familiar from Bentley’s Continental model, and this would be joined by a 4.0-litre V8 and a V6 hybrid. All would offer what Bentley’s CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer calls the company’s traditional “thunderous performance”. Although the company is still talking about the EXP 9 F in the conditional, saying it could form the basis of a third Bentley model line, the release of specific engine options at Beijing is bound to harden expectations that the EXP 9 F, or something like it, will eventually make production.

Although Europeans weren’t too keen on the EXP 9 F’s external appearance, Bentley will be particularly interested to see how the car’s styling goes down with the Chinese. If they like it, European sniffiness about the EXP 9 F’s looks may not matter too much – after all, it is big growing emerging markets such as China that will buy the car if it makes it into production.

And now discussion of the EXP 9 F’s controversial exterior has died down, perhaps this second outing will get a bit more attention for the car’s attractive interior which is a very successful blend of traditional materials and high technology.

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