Bentley is showcasing a new Sport Utility Vehicle concept, EXP 9 F, at the 2012 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition. The all-wheel drive luxury SUV concept makes its debut in China as potential third Bentley model-line; powertrains under consideration include a 500bhp, 4.0-litre V8 Twin turbo and a V6 plug-in hybrid in addition to the flagship 6.0-liter W12 engine.
|EXP 9 F concept. Click to enlarge.|
The EXP 9 F concept on display in Beijing is based around the Bentley 6.0L, twin-turbocharged W12 gasoline engine, developing 600bhp and 800 N·m of torque coupled with an 8-speed close-ratio transmission.
The V6 plug-in hybrid powertrain would offer a potential 30 km (19 mile) range in full electric mode and CO2 emissions of 130g/km, but still be capable of a accelerating the SUV from 0 to 100 km/h in less than 5 seconds.
Three different driving modes – Comfort, Sport and Off-Road – are selectable according to the road environment and type of journey. Thus the driver information TFT panel would be able to switch between satellite navigation on the motorway to a ‘sump cam’ when negotiating a bumpy track. For sand-dune driving, the speedometer is automatically replaced by a compass while, for high altitude driving, the rev counter is replaced by an altimeter.
Bentley Motors is the third largest R&D investor in the UK’s automotive sector and the 18th largest nationally. The company employs almost 4,000 people in Crewe which is home to all its operations including design, R&D, engineering and production. Bentley’s global sales for Q1 in 2012 increased by 46.6% with 1,759 cars delivered to customers.
This growth was led by the emergence of China as Bentley’s largest market in the first quarter with sales in the region up 84.9% (578 cars delivered). The Americas remain a key market for Bentley with sales up by 35.6% (468 cars delivered). In the Middle East sales recovered with an increase of 82.6% (168 cars delivered) and European sales also saw a 34.4% increase with 207 deliveries. Sales in the UK and Germany remain stable, with 233 cars and 62 cars delivered respectively.