Bentley EXP 9 F Luxury SUV Concept

Bentley EXP 9 F Luxury SUV Concept

Bentley EXP 9 F is a compelling new take on the Grand Touring Bentley - a vehicle that feels equally at home at an opera gala performance, on the sand dunes and the overtaking lane of the autobahn.

"From a designer's perspective, EXP 9 F was a dream project, the chance to create a completely new type of Bentley. From the very beginning, the design team had a clear vision for the new Bentley SUV," explained Dirk van Braeckel, Director of Design.

"EXP 9 F had to represent the absolute pinnacle of the sport utility sector, setting a new benchmark for this type of vehicle. 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."

A new class of Bentley allowed the styling team to adopt a more progressive design approach. The exterior is a bold, dynamic statement, combining clean, muscular surfaces with signature character lines, while retaining the qualities of luxury and power - a pure Bentley.

Key Bentley cues such as the matrix grille, round lamps and the strong power-line and haunch along each flank are reinterpreted for EXP 9 F. The 'hewn from solid' design language and innovative detailing, emphasise the robust character of this high-luxury SUV.

The designers were inspired not only by the more functional nature of EXP 9 F but by the 'visible engineering' of the famous Blower Bentleys. For example, the day-time running lamp apertures also act as the charge cooler air intakes for the twin-turbo W12 engine, each with a dramatic, mesh-covered turbine fan design and 'rifled' inner surface finish.

The turbine theme continues with the stunning 23-inch alloy wheels, the design of which complements the sculptured coachwork. The multiple spokes are reminiscent of the shape of turbine fan blades while the centrally mounted wheel nut is a visual reference both to Bentley's Le Mans racers of the 1920s with centre-lock spinner and to the single nut found on the modern-day Speed 8's high-tech racing alloys.

At the rear, the swooping lines of the tailgate avoid utilitarian overtones in favour of a distinctly sporting profile, while the ultra-wide, two-part split tailgate offers a high level of versatility when grand touring. The bold design language of EXP 9 F is complemented by twin exhaust tailpipes with 'rifled' inner surfaces, their elliptical shapes echoing those of the rear light clusters.

The rear lights are inspired by the forms and details of fighter jet engines, uniquely designed so that they glow from within, spreading their light outwards.

Interior: A Fusion of Innovation, Luxury and Utility
Traditional handcrafted elements such as wood, leather and polished metals such as aluminium, bronze and gunmetal are used to create a sense of British luxury, yet the way they are used sets a fresh and contemporary interior ambience. Soft-touch leather contrasts with highly durable surfaces with the concept car design experimenting with the use of saddle leather for the seat backs, top roll and loadspace - while analogue bezels and dials are paired with TFT 'virtual' instrumentation.

Even the luxurious silk wool floormats are reversible - with one side finished in durable, ribbed saddle leather for use when the driver and passengers are dressed for the great outdoors.

The upright dashboard design features a full-width, one-piece wood veneer with a subtly negative surface and instruments with a configurable display. The fluid waist rail design shows pinnacle craftsmanship with chequered, lacquered and oiled finishes. Veneers are sculpted to reveal their solid wood construction. The highly distinctive, carved checkering design on the steering wheel rim, inspired by a shot-gun's stock, also offers additional grip.

Traditional Bentley 'bulls eye' vents have a 'rifled' gunmetal inner surface for a more contemporary and functional appearance. The centre console is a blend of functionality and supreme ergonomics with dynamic, architectural layers which help to create a central spine to the cabin. The frame of the console is also a structural component with integrated, sculpted grab handles. The high-gloss black touch-screen surround seamlessly blends into a lacquered veneered surface, emulating the decorative surfaces of a Stratocaster guitar.

The flowing roof design with a panoramic glass panel is inspired by the roll cages of rally cars, expressing both strength and lightness. The innovative, four-zone electro-chromatic 'sunroof' allows individual passengers to select their preferred level of light screening

Rear seat passengers can chose between business mode, with generous legroom complete with fold-down keyboard and full internet connectivity via an iPad or tablet or a more reclined position with powered footrest, drinks table and an infotainment screen for movies. A removable Touch Pad located on the centre console manages the rear cabin climate control system and entertainment functions. When the rear seats are not in use, they can be powered forward to create a larger loadspace for sports equipment or luggage.

The EXP 9 F seating is 4+1, with a rear armrest sitting between the two electrically operated 'Captain's chairs'. Seats feature a diamond-quilted 'shoulder line' in soft-touch leather, echoing the traditional appearance of a British field sport jacket. A sliding drawer between the seats reveals a cooled compartment for champagne and glasses.

Micro leather piping accentuates the lines of the dashboard, centre console and seats and is colour-matched to the coachwork.

At the rear, the lower section of the two-piece tailgate may be used as a viewing bench or picnic table with the upper section providing a canopy to provide protection against the elements. Bespoke picnic hampers are stowed neatly to either side of the load space when not in use, but are located on rails for easy access. An awning extends over the tailgate to protect those seated there; two umbrellas fit into stowage compartments in the rear luggage area for when the rain clouds sweep in. These compartments are heated for rapid drying of wet umbrellas.

  • Filed under Industrial Design
  • Last updated
  • 40,279 impressions, 19,010 clicks