Co.Design

Yes, This Is A Bentley SUV. Keep Playing The Lottery

The iconic British auto manufacturer has introduced a concept Sport Utility Vehicle.

Luxury, thy name is Bentley. The British automotive brand has been handcrafting high-class rides in England since 1919, and while the silhouettes have certainly evolved over the last century, driving--or being driven in--any one of their models around town is still the ultimate status symbol (though it somehow seems more fitting to see one, parked and gleaming, on a long curving driveway in front of an over-the-top mansion, MTV-Cribs-style). EXP 9 F, the most recent concept car to enter Bentley’s fleet, is a thoroughly modern incarnation--the company’s first foray into Sport Utility Vehicles. Ladies and gents, sirs and madams, wealthy soccer moms and dads, behold: It’s a Bentley SUV.

Behind the iconic “matrix” grill is a vehicle that does not skimp on indulgent details: one-piece wood veneer dash, silk wool floor mats, steering wheel carved to feel like a shotgun stock, 23-inch alloy wheels, panoramic glass roof panel. All-wheel drive complements a 6.0 liter, turbo-charged W12 engine, meaning it’s got the power to go off-road. It’s doubtful anyone with enough cash to purchase one of these would actually take it anywhere remotely “sporting,” but most SUVs on the road today likely spend their time shuttling around cities in stop-and-go traffic, not traversing the wilds. Those relegated to the back seat can console themselves by watching the “infotainment” screens facing them on the front-seat headrests, while controlling both the multimedia and rear climate levels with a dedicated touch screen.

Is the EXP 9 F nice? Yes. Is it necessary? Probably not. It’s a fairly blatant attempt by Bentley to grab some of the relevance back from Porsche and Ferrari, who have had success with an SUV and a four-door, squarely aimed at more family-oriented buyers. And for all its unabashed opulence, it looks almost … average. Like you’d have to see the winged “B” emblem adorning the hood to believe it really and truly was a Bentley.

(H/T Dexigner)

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11 Comments

  • SF

    Unfortunately, I have to agree with many of the points said by my fellow commentators. This article smells like an ad I can`t see the benefit of reading it either. Fastcompany articles hit us with new ideas and challenge our creativity. This one doesn`t.
    Above, I got the odd feeling that people on fastcompany probably aren`t this interested in status symbol SUVs. I think they`d rather enjoy news about one of the really innovative cars that are being developed lately - for example, those driving with electricity... Therefore, unless this 6.0 liter, turbo-charged W12 engine is driving on electricity, I am afraid the new Bently is slightly missing our values, visions and expectations. 

  • Yours Trolly

    Refreshing, Chinese coal mine overlords would be particularly interested, now that they are already tired of Bugatti Veyron Hermes Editions.

  • Disappointing

    This was shown at the Geneva car show at the start of March, promptly criticised by pretty much everyone, and Bentley within a couple of days said they were going back to the drawing board, and agreed it had missed the mark. Why is this now being touted on Fast Co three months later, as a glorious piece of design?

    And, Ferrari doesn't make SUVs. Maybe it was just a poorly formed sentence, but sometimes I have to wonder about the editorial strictness of Fast.Co in general. Where is the value to your readers with this article? Why should I keep visiting, when this level of quality is becoming the norm? I really enjoyed Fast.Co, but lately I'm being driven elsewhere.

  • GearHead

    Why the "Keep Playing the Lottery" attitude towards owning a high-priced luxury vehicle? It's as if saying, "don't work hard and earn more money, just keep working your 9-5 job in contentment and hope and pray that you win the lottery because it's the only way you'll be able to afford it". 

    Hogwash.

  • Epiphany

    My god. Suddenly it all has become clear to me. Thank you, Gearhead. All along it has merely been my inappropriate attitude toward hard work that has precluded me from Bentley ownership.

  • Thomas Mrak

    Create something of value. That has made more people be able to afford luxury vehicles than anything.

    That's my stand.

    After all, we need new technology, new works of entertainment and new ways of doing things.

    People can become wealthy and help others at the same time.

    P.S. Money is not the root of all evil. The LOVE of money is the root of evil. 

    Money is merely a tool.

  • Jeremy

    are you saying the average person should be able to some how responsibly locate hundreds of thousands of dollars for an SUV?

    hogwash.

  • Royalphin

    when did "
    Ferrari, who have had success with an SUV and a four-door, squarely aimed at more family-oriented buyers." happen?

  • rod_edwards

    Arggh. There are few things as annoying as the FC slideshow UI and ad placements.

  • Calum

    agreed. it shouldn't be so painful to look at the images on a creative site. even the old version was better!