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Bentley EXP 9 F
It took Bentley 4 years to convert the concept EXP 9 F into a mass production vehicle – the first SUV in the company’s history. The brand’s designers have considered all critical comments after the first appearance at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. As a result, today we can see a perfected Bentayga which is supposed to be a masterpiece creation. Yet, let’s review Bentley EXP 9 F concept and compare it with a mass Bentayga to draw conclusion.
Concept Controversial Bodywork
In the process of designing the EXP 9 F SUV Bentley decided to preserve its well-known exterior feature: a voluminous grille integrated within an angular hood. The result was a bit unexpected for the observers. The vehicle featured muscular surfaces (kin to Range Rover), a matrix grille amid round headlamps and unusual daytime running lights with incorporated cooler air intakes for the engine. They say that the hood resembled the front end of the Mulsanne model. The chassis of the prototype rested upon 23-inch alloy wheels. The rear end received dual exhaust pipes, fighter-jet taillights and wide two-part split tailgate.
EXP 9 F Engines & Cabin
Initially, Bentley intended to endow the concept SUV with three different engines. The most astounding one was a 6.0-liter W12 twin turbocharged unit (621 horsepower) which cooperated with an 8-speed automatic transmission that returned power to all 4 wheels. This aggregate allowed the vehicle to accelerate up to 100 km/h for 5 seconds, reaching the top speed of 300 km/h. The other 4.0-liter petrol engine could yield 500 horsepower. Moreover, Bentley planned to furnish the model with a hybrid powertrain.
The cabin is perfection itself. The layout of the concept car was estimated for 4 or 5 passengers. Business configuration stipulated generous leg/head/hip room for the rear passengers; facilities included a fold-down keyboard, internet connectivity, etc. Traditional configuration offered powered footrests, a drink table, infotainment screens integrated within the front headrests, and more reclined seats.
The cabin boasted luxury trimming options with 15 different leather palettes, 7 wood choices & polished metal surfaces (gunmetal, aluminum or bronze). Interior luxury was replenished by sophisticated cockpit gauges and a large TFT touchscreen. The driver could be given a chance to select between three various modes: Sport, Comfort & Off-Road.
Bentley Bentayga was first introduced at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. The redesigned EXP 9 F was restyled a bit to give the SUV a more sophisticated look. Hence, the car features 5141x1998x1742 mm dimensions & 2992 mm wheelbase. The chassis is based on MLB platform. The model’s curb weight was reduced to 2422 kg; Bentley designers were lucky to cut the weight thanks to the implementation of aluminum elements in the bodywork instead of steel ones.
New Bentayga rests upon 20-22-inch wheels and offers 430 liters of luggage space. The rear door comes equipped with a touch-free open/close mechanism. Optionally, it’s possible to get an additional extensible seat for a garden party.
Inside, this SUV resembles a saloon vehicle with all luxury trimming materials (leather, wood, metal). The front seats are distinguished by multiple power adjustments with heating, ventilation and 6-way massage facilities. In 4-seater configurations similar options are offered for the back occupants as well. The back-end section is rich in the integrated 10.2-inch Android-based tablets which support Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 4G.
The fascia boasts all digital gauges, whereas the dashboard accommodates exclusive equipment such as an 8.0-inch display, a 60-gigabyte hard drive, a powerful stereo system, and optional Breitling Mulliner Tourbillion gold watch. Besides, the base Bentayga trim boasts a two-section panoramic roof, an automatic parking system, an all-round view camera, adaptive cruise control, a night vision camera, and some other security systems.
To proceed with Bentley EXP 9 F review and its mass-production follower, it’s necessary to point out the key changes in the powertrain. Hence, new Bentayga is shipped with a 6.0-liter W12, rated at 608 hp & 900 nm of torque. The torque is transferred to all wheels by means of an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission. The power is divided between the axles thanks to Torsen differentials by a ratio of 40:60. This engine houses a pair of turbo compressors and supports automatic shut-off of half of the cylinders on low loading index.
The Bentayga copes with 0-100 km/h distance for 4.1 seconds. The top speed approximates 301 km/h. The powertrain is bundled with Stop/Start system as well as 8 full-fledged driving modes: Comfort, Sport, Bentley, Individual, Sand Dunes, Mud & Trail, Snow & Grass, and Dirt & Gravel.
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