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Bentley Reveals EXP 9 F Luxury SUV

Continental GTC V8 Convertible also debuts in Geneva.

by on Mar.06, 2012

Bentley rolls the EXP 9 F SUV concept into Geneva.

Luxury makers normally dribble out new products from an eyedropper, but Bentley’s got a big year going, as it demonstrated today with the launch of two new offerings at the Geneva Motor Show – notably including the maker’s first-ever sport-utility vehicle.

Technically, the Bentley EXP 9 F is a concept vehicle, but don’t let that fool you.  The British maker’s CEO Wolfgang Durheimer has made it abundantly clear that this project is his top priority and will come to market before the down-market sedan that had been favored by his predecessor.

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And with the apparent support of Bentley’s German parent, Volkswagen AG, it is expected to offer a production version of the EXP 9 F with an assortment of drivetrains that could include the marque’s familiar W12, its new V-8 and even a plug-in hybrid.

That new V8, incidentally, is also playing a starring role in Geneva this year – here under the hood of Bentley’s new GTC convertible.  The 8-banger is a key part of the luxury brand’s bid to drive up its less than stellar fuel economy.

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Bentley Bringing Plug-in SUV Concept to Geneva

Maker to put “green” spin on its planned luxury ute.

by on Mar.01, 2012

After taking over from Franz-Josef Paefgen (r), Bentley's new CEO Woflgang Durheimer has pressed for the development of the marque's first SUV.

Big SUVs are so outré, or so the environmentalists would have you believe, and they may be right considering the continued migration of traditional truck-based SUVs to more efficient crossovers.  So what is a Bentley to do as it prepares to bring its first sport-utility vehicle to market?  How about putting a green spin on the new offering by driving it into Geneva’s PALExpo using a plug-in hybrid drivetrain.

Whether we’ll actually see Bentley deliver this battery-based powertrain to market anytime soon will be one of the big questions likely to dominate the maker’s news conference at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, next week.

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The unusual approach, first reported by Automotive News, would clearly put an environmentally friendly halo around a brand not typically associated with green machines.  That could be useful considering the as yet-unnamed Bentley SUV will be going up against a wave of new luxury utes coming from makers as diverse as Maserati and Lamborghini, never mind Porsche, which will add the downsized Macan to its current Cayenne line.

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