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It appeared that the British automaker was going straight to redesigning the SUV based on its lukewarm response, but now Bentley’s chief of exterior design, David Hilton, has gone on the record to say that “the response has been incredibly positive” on the EXP 9 F and that potential customers “love the presence of the vehicle and the personality it projects.” Surprising, to say the least.
So does that mean Bentley isn’t redesigning its EXP 9 F Concept before it makes its production debut? Not exactly. The automaker is close to finalizing the design for production and Hilton did admit that the styling will be toned down next time we see it. What will remain however is the quad-circle light design along with the SUV’s general proportions, rectangle taillights, and contrasting oval exhausts.
Hilton even hinted that the rear end look is something we will be seeing on more Bentley models in the near future, perhaps on a newly-redesigned Continental GT. Bentley still has high aspirations for its SUV when it hits the market, estimating that it will move 15,000 of them yearly. If that sounds like a high figure, it should; that’s more than double of what Bentley sold in total last year.
But changes are being made to make Bentley models more attractive in emerging markets such as China, India, and Russia. The British automaker is also working on providing more fuel-efficient powerplant options including the possible plug-in hybrid variant for the upcoming SUV.
As for future models, Hilton stated that there are no plans for a smaller Bentley.
[Source: Motor Authority]
Unveiled as part of the luxurious British brand’s expansion plans, it’s obvious that Bentley is thinking about growth in emerging markets like India and China with this potential new model. Of course, it’s certain to be popular in America, not to mention with Russian oligarchs and African dictators.
Find out more about the new Bentley SUV concept in AutoGuide’s first look video below.
GALLERY: Bentley EXP 9 F SUV Concept