To put it mildly, the styling of Bentley’s recently unveiled
EXP 9 F SUV concept
is somewhat controversial.
Bentley is well aware of this, stating that customer and public reaction to the concept is being monitored closely before production is given the green light and a final design is locked in.
A redesign of the EXP 9 F may already be in progress, however, according to a new report from the UK.
An inside source has told What Car?
the EXP 9 F’s styling is “a little heavy handed” and that an alternative design is being worked on.
The source went on to reveal that Bentley’s designers are planning a more conventional SUV shape for the next iteration of the design, with less retro surfacing and slightly smaller headlights. The fog lights will remain, though these will reportedly be moved further inward from their current position at the outer edges of the EXP 9 F’s front bumper.
One design aspect that is expected to remain is the long wheelbase, which has been implemented to provide limo-like legroom in the rear. Bentley is targeting its SUV at customers in China, Russia, and the Middle-East, where it’s common for owners to ride in the back of their cars rather than do the driving themselves.
Most likely overseeing the look of the new SUV is acclaimed designer David Hilton
, who was recently appointed the head of exterior design at Bentley.
Like the concept, any production model will also sport a 12-cylinder engine and eight-speed automatic. However, all drivetrain options including a hybrid
remain under consideration, Bentley CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer has confirmed.
Bentley has plenty of time to perfect the design as a production version, if approved, isn’t expected in showrooms until 2015 at the earliest. This means you can bet we’ll see at least one more SUV concept from the British automaker before then.