Page 183 - Simply Abu Dhabi Magazine VI

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T H E B E N T L E Y E X P 9 F
As a result, EXP 9 F places key driver information such as 3D navigation in a central
TFT panel directly in the driver’s line of sight, where it is flanked by two analogue
reverse-read dials. Meanwhile controls that are shared between driver and front seat
passenger, such as cabin temperature, air vents and entertainment are presented in
the central touchscreen and console. The TFT screen deploys from the full-width
metal trim to provide a fully integrated extension to the glass surface of the centre
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.
Although the EXP 9 F concept is based around the Bentley 6.0 litre, twin-
turbochargedW12 engine with an 8-speed transmission, both the company’s recently-
launched 4.0 litre, twin-turbocharged V8 or a hybrid drivetrain could meet the
performance requirements of a pinnacle luxury SUV.
Whilst EXP 9 F is primarily intended to investigate new design territory – and all
drivetrain options remain under consideration – any Bentley SUV would offer the
thunderous performance the marque is renowned for. The W12 6.0 litre powertrain,
for example, could develop 600bhp and 800 Nm of torque with key performance
indicators like the top speed and 0-60mph sprint time all setting new benchmarks for
the SUV sector.
When the first generation Continental GT was unveiled in 2003 it represented the
renaissance of Bentley as a global luxury icon, subsequent launches such as Mulsanne,
Continental Flying Spur saloon and the new Continental GT have seen the Bentley
brand growing from strength to strength.
EXP 9 F represents the chance to take Bentley values of design, craftsmanship and
engineering excellence into what would be – literally – new terrain for the brand.
Bentley’s experience with the all-wheel drive Continental range makes the concept
of a Bentley SUV a natural progression for the company.
Customer and public reaction will be analysed following the unveiling of EXP 9 F at
Geneva 2012, with the aim of refining the concept further. Above all, Bentley will be
listening carefully to the reaction of customers and potential customers throughout
the world, prior to making any definitive commitment to production.
“A Bentley Grand Tourer doesn’t necessarily have to be a coupé, a convertible or a
saloon – it could equally well be an SUV. What’s important is that it should be true
to Bentley’s brand values and in line with the desires and needs of our customers.”–
Alasdair Stewart, Member of the Board, Sales and Marketing.
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