Surprising news just came from the Ford. They released the photos of the face-lifted new Kuga that will be available next year. It was released in 2008 and after 4 years, that’s a normal face-lift schedule. However, existing Kuga still looks fine! But technical features and interior could not keep with the competitors. This SUV segment has a very tough competition as it is one of the most profitable one. Each competitor introduces new technologies and features in this segment, then the competitors seems relatively out-dated.
Finally, Bentley revealed the SUV EXP 9F (F stands for Falcon, it will be like a Falcon), which I was expecting for last half a decade. Since for very long time, I was expecting Bentley to make this move. An ultra-luxury SUV! Range Rover is the leader of the luxury SUV but in terms of luxury level, it is not at the same level of a Bentley. However, as there are no other alternatives Range Rover receives very high demand.
I think Bentley notice this niché market gap and decide to design an SUV under its brand. However, it is not that easy to conquer the Range Rover territory. The luxury must match with the existing models, it should have a state-of-art exterior and interior design, and it must be really powerful and fast.
According to photos released today, things did go well as except one thing, exterior design! Like many other people, I was really shocked with the design. It is an uplifted version of Mulsanne with a boot reminds me Range Rover Sport and Audi Q7! Actually, from some angles I find some similarities with Range Rover Sport. Honestly, I was expecting a better exterior. I don’t like to criticise design team but this car needs more revision before production. I can describe the design of EXP 9F as too conservative! The combination of sportiveness and tradition are not in the harmonic way as they achieved on Continental and Mulsanne.
This design will reduce the sales performance, of course no! The interior design is amazing, and it is a Bentley, and it is the first SUV offers 12-cylinder petrol engine. Many customers will not complain about the design that much, because they will buy the most power, ultra-luxury SUV on market. So, these notions are good enough to compensate the design disappointment. Still, I highly recommend Bentley to revise the design! I think many people think the same way.
About technical information. It will feature the both existing V8 4-lt twin-turbo and W12 6-lt twin-turbo petrol engines with 8-speed auto transmission. There are some rumours about a possible diesel engine from Audi but nothing official yet. The instrument panel is a combination of analogue and virtual. Driver can change the virtual TFT instrument panel in three modes that are selectable through driving modes; Comfort, Sport and Off-Road. Interior features a full glass panoramic roof, seating position 4+1. I really love the interior design, especially the centre console. It looks really amazing and I like the tailgate that can be opened totally. The rear tailgate is integrated to rear light, when it is opened the light goes down as well.
Unfortunately, there are no information about the off-road transfer box or any other information regarding to off-road performance.
Another interesting bit is the size of the wheels. They are 23-inch and 0,5-inch bigger than a truck’s wheel! The other interesting bit is the turbine look vents under the headlight. Also, we shouldn’t forget one thing, this is the Bentley’s first concept car. Their performance is fair enough!