Bentley Motors Reveals EXP 9 F SUV Concept
Performance, luxury, craftsmanship, engineering and technology: The Bentley EXP 9 F SUV should soon be available at Bentley Beverly Hills, an O’Gara Coach Company, 8833 W. Olympic Blvd.
Bentley unveiled its concept Sport Utility Vehicle at the Geneva International Salon d’Auto in March; at the 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition in April; in England at the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed, June 29 to July 1, in Crewe, the operations home for Bentley; and at the Concours d’Elegance, Pebble Beach, in August.
When it appears, the EXP 9 F SUV will offer world-class luxury and all-terrain capability — a Grand Touring Bentley as appropriate at a concours as on the sand dunes and the speed lane of an interstate, says Jon Boardman, general sales manager for Bentley Beverly Hills.
After canvassing customers through 160 dealerships worldwide, Bentley will decide on powertrains for the on- and off-road vehicle, including the 500-bhp, 4.0 liter V-8 twin turbo; a V-6 plug-in hybrid; or the flagship 6.0 liter, twin-turbo W12 engine, which propels the concept car. That engine generates 600 brake horsepower through an eight-speed close-ratio transmission.
The EXP 9 F could become a third Bentley model line, with the bespoke grand tourer Mulsanne and the high-performance Continental GT, the open GTC and Flying Spur — all available at Bentley Beverly Hills. The 616-hp Continental GT Speed also made its North American debut on the Pebble Beach concept lawn and will be available in November at Bentley Beverly Hills as the marque’s fastest car ever: a 4.0-second 0–60 mph sprint and 205-mph top speed.
“Everyone seems to agree that an SUV is a natural fit for Bentley. An exciting range of drivetrain options . . . are under active consideration but one thing is for sure, any Bentley SUV would offer the thunderous performance for which the marque is renowned,” says Wolfgang Dürheimer, chairman and chief executive of Bentley Motors, founded in 1919 by W.O Bentley with the mission: “build a good car, a fast car, the best in class.”
Exterior: Le Mans and Fighter Planes
A multi-functional SUV, this still is a Bentley, with great lines and reverence for the racing and luxury traditions of the company. Its mission is to be, indeed, “best in class.”
“EXP 9 F had to represent the absolute pinnacle of the sport utility sector, setting a new benchmark for this type of vehicle,” says Dirk van Braeckel, the company’s director of design. “The style had to reflect Bentley’s sporting character despite its radically different package and purpose together with sculptured, flowing surfaces in keeping with the Bentley tradition.”
Signature Bentley details include the signature matrix grille, round lamps and the “hewn-from-solid” design theme. Recalling the famous supercharged Blower Bentleys, 1929 to 1931, the day-time running lamp openings are also the charge cooler air intakes for the twin-turbo; each is mesh covered in a turbine fan design.
The 23-inch alloy wheels reiterate the turbine theme, as the multiple spokes recall the shape of supercharger fan blades. The centrally mounted wheel nut is a visual reference both to Bentley’s Le Mans racers of the 1920s — with a center-lock spinner. Variously configured, Bentleys dominated the great French race, winning in 1924, 1927, 1928, 1929 and 1930.
At the rear, a two-part split tailgate and twin elliptically shaped exhaust tailpipes reiterate the shape of the rear light clusters. These lights, in fact, are inspired by details of fighter jet engines, so that their light spreads outwards for maximum illumination. The tailgate may be used as a viewing bench or picnic table with the upper section providing a canopy for protection against the elements.
Interior — Innovation, Luxury, Utility
The interior of the EXP 9 F SUV will be a luxurious contemporary-style amalgam of handcrafted elements — wood and leather — and polished metals such as aluminum, bronze and gunmetal.
“The challenge for the interior design team was to create a cabin which provides a blend of luxury and utility,” van Braeckel explains. “The result is a light and airy environment with a commanding view of the road and a versatile layout which showcases Bentley’s craft and design language in an innovative and contemporary way.”
Luxury and technology are pervasive: The seat backs, top roll and loadspace are saddle leather; bezels and dials are paired with TFT virtual instrumentation in a central panel in the driver’s line of sight; and the silk wool floormats are reversible, so that one side is ribbed saddle leather for use in backroads touring.
The upright dashboard design incorporates a wood veneer; the steering wheel rim has a carved checkering design, and Bentley “bulls eye” vents have a “rifled” gunmetal inner surface for a contemporary, functional look. The center console includes the high-gloss Touch Pad surround for information controls shared between driver and front seat passenger, such as cabin temperature, air vents and entertainment as well as the rear cabin climate control system and entertainment functions.
The driver selects from three modes: Comfort, Sport and Off-Road. The TFT panel can switch between satellite navigation on the motorway to a “sump cam” for more challenging routes. For sand-dune driving, the speedometer becomes a compass while, and for high altitudes, the rev counter an altimeter.
The rear includes two captain’s chairs with a sliding drawer between for a cooled compartment. Passengers can chose between business mode, including a fold-down keyboard and Internet connectivity or a more reclined position with footrest, drinks table and an infotainment screen. Passengers can also select their level of sun screening with the four-zone electro-chromatic sunroof.
Bentley Beverly Hills: Service at the Highest Standards
Bentley Beverly Hills offers service consistent with Bentley — and O’Gara Coach Company standards — whether you are purchasing a new vehicle or a certified pre-owned luxury car.
Led by its founder Tom O’Gara, the O’Gara Coach Company has established records in luxury and performance sales and service continuously from 2004–2011. Since 2005, Bentley Beverly Hills has been the largest Bentley retailer in the Western Hemisphere.
“We handle the largest volume of service and process the largest parts inventory in the western U.S., stocking parts from post-war era to current model years,” says Kevin Pembleton, service manager for Bentley Beverly Hills, noting that the dealership has recently nearly doubled its service and parts capabilities.
“Our specialized and factory-trained technicians work with all vehicles we offer to clients, and our Bentley technicians, with more 150 years combined experience and technical assistance direct from Crewe, offer uncompromising standards of skill and attention to detail,” he adds.
In conjunction with Service is the Parts Department, led by its manager, Byron Dantzler. In 2006 his team was awarded the “Largest Bentley Parts Department in the U.S.” With access to more than 50,000 genuine Bentley and Crewe Genuine parts, Byron and his staff can supply parts for cars from 1955 to today.
Also available is the Bentley Collection, including luggage, Bentley Accessories to personalize your Bentley, and a Roadside Assistance Package to complement your warranty. Bentley Beverly Hills also offers vehicle consignment, fair vehicle trade-in values, vehicle locating throughout the dealer network and custom-tailored leases and special financing through the Bentley Beverly Hills in-house leasing company.
“Our supreme customer satisfaction scores at Bentley Motors reflect the professionalism and dedication to the products that O’Gara Coach Company has become renowned for,” Boardman says. “If you haven’t experienced Bentley Beverly Hills, it’s time to treat yourself to the best.”
Bentley Beverly Hills — www.beverlyhills.bentleymotors.com, www.ogaracoach.com, or (800) 556-4986