Bentley backs its ugly, ugly baby

Europe doesn't like it ... so its maker is going to see what the Chinese think of it

Bentley EXP 9 F SUV. Photo / Supplied
Bentley EXP 9 F SUV. Photo / Supplied

When Bentley unveiled its EXP 9 F SUV concept car at the Geneva Motor Show, the reaction was largely negative.

But the company is holding its nerve, and instead of dropping the EXP 9 F, or at least rejigging it to answer some of the criticisms of its styling, Bentley has been pushing it again at the Beijing motor show, this time setting out the likely powertrain options.

At the top end would be a 6-litre W12 engine, a configuration familiar from Bentley's Continental model.

This would be joined by a 4-litre V8 and a V6 hybrid.

All would give what Bentley's CEO, Wolfgang Durheimer, calls the company's traditional "thunderous performance".

Although the company is still talking about the EXP 9 F in the conditional, saying it could form the basis of a third Bentley model line, the release of specific engine options at Beijing is bound to harden expectations that the EXP 9 F, or something like it, will eventually go into production.

Europeans weren't too keen on the EXP 9 F's external appearance, so Bentley will be particularly interested to see how the car's styling goes down with the Chinese.

If they like it, Europe's sniffiness may not matter too much - after all, it is big emerging markets such as China who will buy the car if it goes into production.

And now discussion of the EXP 9 F's exterior has died down, perhaps this second outing will get a bit more attention for the car's attractive interior which is a blend of traditional materials and high technology.

- The Independent

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