While putting power to all four wheels is nothing new for Bentley, it's usually used for traction and performance, as in the Continental series. But at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show, Bentley showed the four-wheel-drive EXP 9 F, luxury SUV to rival the Maserati Kubang or Porsche Cayenne. It might even have the Ferrari FF, the four-seater, six-figure Italian station wagon, in its family-friendly sights. Bentley said that its current customers already owned SUVs -- how else are you going to get around at the Sundance Film Festival? -- but the British company wanted to build an SUV worthy of wearing the Flying B.
The EXP 9 F, with all the capital letters and pointless spaces in its name, was introduced as a mere concept in Geneva. Bentley is teasing buyers with the idea that it might make an SUV very similar to this in the near future, but it didn't offer any hard facts, or delivery dates, or prices.

The concept was built to accommodate Bentley's mighty 6-liter W12, which powers almost all its other cars. But the company is keeping its options open, including the newer 4-liter twin-turbo V8 that it recently dropped in the Continental. It's interesting that an SUV would likely get some of the best fuel economy in the whole Bentley family. Bentley even mentioned the possibility of adding a V6 plug-in hybrid drive to the EXP 9 F, which could make the Porsche Cayenne shake in its hybrid boots. Especially if the Bentley hybrid delivers on its 0-62 mph promise of under 5 seconds.

Designers went for a "hewn from solid" look for Bentley's first SUV, which means they wanted it to look as if the vehicle were carved from one block of wood. It's a concept that carries through the rest of Bentley's cars, and it certainly applies to a vehicle that's intended to look a bit more rugged. Not, you'll notice, much more rugged, though. There's a huge, unmistakeably Bentley-esque upright grille, and the slope of the lift gate speaks more to sportiness than to actual sports.

Speaking of sportiness, designers also drew on the slab-sided Blower Bentleys of yesteryear for the EXP 9 F. In particular, they noted the idea of visible engineering -- placing the workings of the vehicle in plain sight, rather than shrouding them. The daytime running lamp surrounds below the headlights, for example, would act as air intakes for the twin-turbo engine, and they look like turbine blades themselves. The form goes a bit further than the function here, but it looks kinda cool.

Surprisingly for a concept with only the potential to see dealerships, Bentley fashioned a full interior for the EXP 9 F. Old-school Brit meets new-school tech, with a one-piece wood dash bumping up against a TFT display with virtual gauges in front of the driver. The rear seat can be crowded with kids, as most SUVs are, but there's also a "business mode," with fold-down keyboard and Internet access. Of course, when the workday is over, the rear seats recline, the foot rests kick out, and passengers can watch a movie.

The tailgate (seen above in its almost unbelievable concept form) can be used either as a bench or a picnic table, depending on your tailgate party preferences, and there's an awning to protect picnickers from rain or rays. There are two fitted picnic baskets in the concept, too, and two fitted umbrellas.

Bentley rupe tacerea si anunta primul SUV din istoria sa. Automobilul cu pricina va debuta in cursul anului 2016 si, cel mai probabil, va prelua multiple elemente - atat tehnice, cat si estetice, de la conceptul EXP 9 F lansat cu ocazia Salonului Auto de la Geneva din 2012.

Conform unui anunt recent al companiei din Crewe, primul SUV din istoria celor de la Bentley va debuta in cursul anului 2016 si se va remarca printr-un aspect vizual unic si distinctiv. De asemenea, conform oficialilor constructorului britanic, viitorul SUV va fi "cel mai luxos si puternic SUV de pe piata", urmand a iesi in evidenta exact prin aceleasi caracteristici regasite si la nivelul celorlalte modele - caracteristici precum putere mare, performanta, lux, rafinament, calitate si asa mai departe.
Intr-o alta ordine de idei, detaliile concrete lipsesc cu desavarsire la acest moment. Mai mult de-atat, comunicatul de presa nu face nici un fel de referire la conceptul EXP 9 F, automobil lansat in premiera mondiala cu ocazia Salonului Auto de la Geneva din 2012. In schimb, oficialii Bentley s-au grabit sa afirme ca viitorul SUV al companiei britanice va fi construit in Marea Britanie - acolo unde se vor investi peste 800 de milioane de lire sterline in modificarea fabricii din Crewe, si nu in Slovacia, asa cum se zvonea initial.


La Muzeul TATRA din orasul Koprivnice - Cehia pot fii vazute 60 de exponate de masini fabricate de a lungul istoriei acestei marci extrordinare TATRA. Sasiuri, propulsoare, proiecte, dar si trofee castigate pe circuitele de competitii din intreaga lume.