"Bentley’s SUV Is a Rapper’s Delight
By Peter Orosz
GENEVA — It isn’t often that a car literally makes you say WTF aloud. But it isn’t often that you see a V12-powered SUV. A Bentley SUV, no less.
Pictures cannot convey the obnoxious scale of the Bentley EXP 9F concept here at the Geneva auto show, so we’ll tell you it rides on 23-inch wheels and leave it at that. It’s hard to make sense of the 9F and its unashamed bling at a time when so many automakers are stuffing small engines into small cars, or eschewing engines and petrol for motors and batteries.
Naturally, the 9F comes with a 12-cylinder engine, although Bentley’s Peter Guest was quick to note a plug-in hybrid would be an option, were the behemoth to make it into production. Bentley is currently gauging reception from the few hundred people in the world who a.) would want a Bentley SUV and b.) could afford it.
The 9F feels terribly wrong on all levels until you sit in on a few press conferences with luxury automakers who say the United States remains their largest market, but China isn’t far behind. Maserati, for instance, already sells half as many Maserati GranTurismos in China as they do in the states. And Bentley, which saw a banner year in 2011, enjoys particularly brisk sales in China.
So from that perspective, the 9F makes a ton of sense (more like four tons, given the car’s dimensions). It’s perfect for a violently nouveaux riche market. It’s big, it’s brash and it’s completely obvious, a Continental GT on steroids.
The EXP 9F — Bentley has since 1919 used the EXP designation for all experimental or concept cars, and says it “is meant to stand for ground-breaking innovation” — looks like it was carved from a block of alloy. It’s got everything you’d expect from a vehicle that will never go off-road, including all-wheel drive, along with a 6.0-liter V12.
No word on when, or if, the 9F might see production, but Bentley did say many of its current customers also have an SUV in the garage, and there’s no sense giving that business to, say, Mercedes-Benz.
Information Courtesy Of: Wired.Com x Forbes.Com
CHRIS LIVE AKA SHAKER SAYS: Some observations merely hold a single grain of weightless truth whilst others constitute an entire private beach's worth of sea soaked sand. The recent Wired.Com piece titled "Bentley’s SUV Is a Rapper’s Delight" (NOTE: Cited for this entry) which simultaneously extols both the virtues AND the ridiculous appeal of such a vehicle to a small yet perpetually papered up "violently nouveaux riche" market represents the latter. Yeah, this is 1 of those "The truth hurts" moments ... lol.
I admit it, I can be hyper-sensitive to the casual contempt with which "Hip Hop" culture is addressed and remain particularly weary of the ever-present sly-grinned silhouette of passive racism that likes nothing more than to loiter around such conversation.
That having been said, the all-wheel drive, 6.0-liter V-12 Bentley EXP 9F SUV behemoth just unveiled @ the 2012 Geneva Auto Show IS poised to be EVERY rapper's new car crush! Fuck the dumb shit.
Y.O.U. should fully expect brash EXP 9 (NOTE: Since 1919 Bentley Motors has used the "EXP" designation for all experimental or concept cars and says it “is meant to stand for ground-breaking innovation”) wishes to infiltrate the verses of your favorite "look-at-me" luxury enamored MC any day now. Shiiiiiiiiiiiit, I wouldn't mind spilling some Perrier-Jouët Brut Rosé on these diamond-quilted shouldered, saddle leather seats my damn self ... lol. You've gotta do it early though ... no "Johnny-come-latelies" on this trip ... lol. It is what it is. This is Livestyle!