The Bentley EXP-9F SUV which was showcased at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show received widespread criticism for its design which forced the otherwise uncontroversial British auto marque to get back to the drawing board.
During this time, Bentley officials said that they were working on a redesigned version of the SUV and the company very recently started teasing it through its new website Newbentley.com. Carmagazine.co.uk has caught the new SUV undergoing endurance test in Europe.
While the headlamp setup of the test mule conforms to the recent teasers, the rest of the car is covered with thick black cladding that is shaped like the concept to mislead the beholders. The EXP-9F Concept had singular headlamp units whereas the revised version adopts Bentley's signature twin elliptical elements. That, combined with the wireframe grill, gives the SUV a Continental GT-like front fascia.
The uber-luxurious 4x4 from Bentley is based on the VW Group's lightweight multi-material MLB architecture that would also underpin the next generations of Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne and VW Touareg.
Powertrain options are expected to include 4.0-litre V8 and 6.0-litre W12 petrol engines. The 4.0-litre V8 produces 528 PS and 680 Nm of torque under the hood of Continental GT V8 S while the 6.0-litre W12 in Continental GT Speed is capable of 635 PS and 820 Nm of torque. Both the engines are matched to an eight-speed transmission.
The Bentley SUV is expected to go on sale in 2016 with a starting price of around £140,000 pounds (around INR 1.39 Crore).