Bentley released new dynamic images and video of its luxury performance SUV design concept, the EXP 9 F. Is Bentley going for a hybrid SUV?
According to Bentley, the new material reaffirms the concept’s innovative fusion of contemporary, crafted luxury, advanced technology, commanding driving position and all-terrain capability. EXP 9 F also highlights Bentley’s intent to build the fastest and most luxurious SUV in the world.
The concept’s appearance at Goodwood is part of a systematic and comprehensive process of gauging customer and public reaction to the idea of a Bentley SUV, which began with its unveiling at the Geneva International Salon d’Auto earlier this year and will continue at the Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach, California in August.
In a release published before the Goodwood event, Bentley declared “the concept car combines a stunning interior at the pinnacle of craftsmanship and technology with a clean, muscular exterior. With an exciting range of drivetrain options under consideration, any Bentley SUV would offer the thunderous performance for which the brand is renowned.”
The EXP 9 F concept on display at various shows is based around the Bentley 6.0-liter, twin-turbocharged W12 petrol engine, developing 600 horsepower coupled with an 8-speed close-ratio transmission.
A range of other powertrain options are also under consideration. This includes Bentley’s recently launched 500 horsepower, 4.0-liter gas V8 as well as what Bentley considers a groundbreaking powertrain for the luxury SUV segment: a V6 plug-in hybrid.
With a potential range of 19 miles (30 km) in full electric mode and CO2 emissions of 130g/km, the V6 hybrid would still be capable of a 0 to 62 mph (100 kph) sprint time of less than 5 seconds.
Other outside factors add some pressure in favor of a high end hybrid SUV, like the expensive pollution tax Londoners need to pay to access the city center, expensive taxation for big displacement engines in various country and the average fleet mpg limit manufacturers need to comply with in the U.S., Bentley’s biggest market.
Add to this the smug factor of being able to be green while also driving an exclusive vehicle like a Bentley. Many would love to be able to combine their posh tastes with extra green cred!
Looking at the pictures and video, the concept appears to have a full-length center console big enough to help conceal both the all-wheel-drive system and the battery pack required for a hybrid. Add to this the facts Bentley does not hide it is considering a hybrid option and it can even provide a clue as to what the performance of said hybrid would be …
Bentley may not yet be ready to announce it, but a very high-end hybrid SUV could well be underway.