Bentley Premieres It’s First Foray Into Luxury SUV’s.

Friday, April 6, 2012
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SoHo got a taste of the Upper East Side this Wednesday with the debut of Bentley’s EXP 9 F Luxury Performance SUV Concept Car, hosted at the Openhouse Gallery on Mulberry. The model marks Bentley’s first foray out of the luxury sedan and into the world of the luxury SUV. Following in the footsteps of Mercedes’ G-Wagon and Porsche’s Cayenne, Bentley has created a car that has the brand traits (the great white shark of a grill, the flying B), but re-envisions the signature stodginess of the vehicle into a more youthful and exciting drive. John Paul Gregory, Lead Exterior Designer talks about his experience, “From a designers perspective this was a dream project. The chance to create a completely new type of vehicle for Bentley is a rare privilege… I wanted to reinterpret key Bentley themes such as the power line and haunch, using bold surfacing and strong undercuts, so that they better suited an SUV. The distinctive face incorporating turbine intercoolers created a unique front end, whilst still being instantly recognizable as a Bentley.”

A number of models were constructed digitally and in good old fashioned clay. The creative team discussed pros and cons of each, before settling on this final model. Peter Cullum-Kenyon, Head of Color and Trim for the car says, “The purposeful use of new materials such as hand-knotted silk rugs, vegetable tanned Saddle hide and traditional, painstaking hand techniques like gunstock chequering have enabled us to create a rich, crafted, and unique product.”  The interior also features dual TV screens on either head rest and a luggage area to rival the Ritz, with full dining and bar compartments retractable from trunk walls.

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by Kelly LaffeyPhotographed by Billy Farrall