the bentley ‘EXP 9F’ luxury SUVimages courtesy of bentley




at beijing motor show 2012, bentley has debuted its ‘EXP 9F‘, a luxury SUV concept that represents the company’s entry into the newly coined ‘super SUV’ class of motor vehicles, all of which have been first presented at the exhibition (more information on the ‘super SUV’ vehicle segment at the bottom of the article).


modeled aesthetically after the ‘blower bentleys’ of the 1920s, the design was conceptualized around a 6-litre, twin-turbocharged W12 petrol engine and 8-speed transmission, although bentley is also considering a petrol V8 as well as a V6 plug-in hybrid powertrain for possible implementation. even with the V6 hybrid, bentley reports the vehicle would be capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph (0-100km/hr) in under five seconds, with a range of 30km (18mi) and CO2 emissions of 209 g/mi (130g/km).

bentley EXP 9F and the new class of super SUVs profile view


bentley EXP 9F and the new class of super SUVs 3/4 rear view




on the exterior, the cuts for the daytime running lamps double as charge cooler air intakes for the engine, with mesh-covered turbine fans, an image reflected in the car’s multispoked 23-inch alloy wheels with a nostalgic centrally mounted wheelnut. the vehicle also features twin exhaust tailpipes.

bentley EXP 9F and the new class of super SUVs view of dashboard, bentley ‘EXP 9F’




the interior dashboard is streamlined to show most driver information, including 3D navigation, in a central panel behind the steering wheel, flanked by two analogue reverse-read dials for speedometer/tachometer. a touchscreen console situated between the two front seats is used to control climate and entertainment.


the vehicle can be operated in one of three driving modes– comfort, sport, and off-road– and the vehicle automatically selects information to display, geared to current driving conditions: a compass while driving in sand dunes, or an altimeter replacing a revolution counter for high altitude navigation.

bentley EXP 9F and the new class of super SUVs instrument panel with integrated GPS display


bentley EXP 9F and the new class of super SUVs cutaway of vehicle interior




the ‘EXP 9F’ concept features 4+1 seating, the rear units of which can be powered forward to create more storage space. riders can operate in ‘business mode’, with a fold-down keyboard and internet connectivity for mobile devices; or opt for more reclined seating with a drinks table and infotainment screen. a rear armrest lifts to reveal a cooled compartment, designed to hold beverages and glasses. in the trunk, picnic hampers are stowed to either side on rails, while an awning can be extended over the tailgate.

bentley EXP 9F and the new class of super SUVs interior view looking towards the rear


bentley EXP 9F and the new class of super SUVs concept sketch of trunk


bentley EXP 9F and the new class of super SUVs interior concept sketch




the ‘EXP 9F’ by bentley is one of a number of cars on show in beijing this year that are being hailed as a new class of vehicle design. london-based boutique luxury carmakers eterniti motors were the first to coin the class ‘super SUV’ in describing their vehicle ‘artemis’. but the phenomenon was  also evident in other concept cars on exhibition, as bentley’s ‘EXP 9F’, lamborghini’s ‘urus’, and maserati’s ‘kubang’ are all representative of the larger-sized, high performance luxury vehicle segment.


the birth of this new car class in beijing is also tailored to the chinese market, which is the world’s largest for cars and which reflects needs and desires of both the urban population and the ever-growing businessmen and executive consumers. luxury SUVs offer  a vehicle that can be driven for pleasure but also used for being chauffeured in, or to hold business meetings; and these are design concerns that automakers are taking into account with their concept vehicles.