We’ve seen this before, Bentley’s SUV experiment. Shown at the Geneva show last month, the EXP 9 F is described by Bentley as “a vehicle that feels equally at home at an opera gala performance, on the sand dunes and the overtaking lane of the autobahn”. Make no mistake, this “concept” is a future model line alongside the Mulsanne, Continental and Flying Spur.

“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,” said Alasdair Stewart, Member of the Board, Sales and Marketing.

Any luxury SUV has to target China, a goldmine full of new money, and Bentley is showing the EXP 9 F off at the Beijing show now, where the British brand also revealed powertrain options for the SUV. The showcar’s hood hides a 6.0L twin-turbocharged W12 engine, developing 600 bhp and 800 Nm of torque. This petrol engine is coupled with an eight-speed close-ratio transmission.

A range of other engines are also under consideration. This includes Bentley’s recently launched 500 bhp, 4.0L V8 as well as a V6 plug-in hybrid. With a potential 30 km range in full electric mode and CO2 emissions of 130 g/km, the V6 hybrid would still be capable of a 0 to 100km/h sprint time of less than five seconds. This sounds very promising, and in tune with the times.

See our previous post for more details and images.