Ask The Best And Brightest: Should Bentley Redesign The EXP 9 F SUV?

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
ask the best and brightest should bentley redesign the exp 9 f suv

A report from Britain’s “WHATCAR?” magazine suggests Bentley will go back to the drawing board before their EXP 9 F SUV hits the market in 2015. I, for one, am not so sure this is a good idea.

Before we start the discussion, it would make sense to establish a couple of things; any discussion of “betraying brand values” is null and void. Bentley “lost the plot” some time ago, depending on who you ask (I say it happened when they made watches with Breitling. Jack thinks the Continental GT was their death knell). The locus of affluence has shifted East, and Chinese, Russian and Emirati consumers want this car. Therefore, it will be made. There is no sense in trying to negotiate with reality.

Personally, I think the design is perfect given the vehicle’s intentions; to be an obnoxious, gaudy display of wealth in countries where inequality is rampant. It looks like a Range Rover with the front of a Mulsanne grafted on to it. Such a design has an obvious precedent – the Bentley Dominator, famously built for the Sultan of Brunei, really was a Range Rover with Bentley styling – and therefore a spiritual predecessor to the EXP 9 F.

According to Whatcar?

the redesigned EXP 9 F will have ‘more traditional SUV proportions and less retro surfacing’. The large round headlights and foglights will remain, but the headlights will be slightly smaller and set farther inward.

I’m not sure how the EXP 9 F can look any more like an SUV, unless the reduced “retro surfacing” means it looks more *ahem* Continental than Mulsanne. Alternate proposals are welcome. Unfortunately, “lighting it on fire” is not a valid option.

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6 of 22 comments
  • -Cole- -Cole- on Mar 12, 2012

    You'll hate it no matter what it looks like. Weird on the "more traditional SUV proportions". It has perfect SUV proportions.

  • Axual Axual on Mar 12, 2012

    Let me make this perfectly clear ... Y E S ! I just looked up the word HIDEOUS. The picture of this Bentley was shown. This design is as thick as a whale omelet (some people will know who said that). This design must be from some bizarro future world where dimensions and proportions are out of whack due to some space time continuum distortion. Either that, or it was designed by people who have no clue about SUV design.

  • Racer-esq. Racer-esq. on Mar 12, 2012

    There is nothing wrong in theory with a Bentley SUV, this was just a really horrible execution. Since this is an Audi Q7/Toureg/Cayenne, with the engine block completely in front of the front axle, the Bentley stylists are never going to be able to give it traditional cab-rearward Bentley proportions. But Bentley could have at least tacked on a better front end. I recommend the front end from the recent Bentley Brooklands. Since many of these are going to head straight to the pimp shop I think Bentley should offer a version equipped like this:

  • Zykotec Zykotec on Mar 13, 2012

    Fixed it. But I made it more 'Bentley' and less SUV. Really a quick fix, narrower grille and moved headlights.

    • CRConrad CRConrad on Mar 13, 2012

      Hot dang, that really helped quite a lot for such a small change. Bravo!