While at Pebble Beach, Bentley CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer sat down with Inside Line to elaborate on plans for the production version of its controversial EXP 9 F concept SUV. As recently as a month ago, the blue behemoth was still being talked about as if a final decision hadn't been made, Durheimer didn't appear to show any reticence when discussing what the report cited as "the 2015 production date."

The big news is that no "radical redesign" of its exterior is planned before it arrives. That could be wordplay hinging on the term "radical," since reports of a redesign surfaced the same month the EXP 9 F was revealed, and a report in Autocar last month cited Volkswagen Group sources as saying "the front and rear end styling would need to be modified" for production. On the other hand, Dürheimer told Inside Line that Bentley customers rated the looks of the SUV "only a 7 out of 10."

We're not sure if he meant the word "only" in humility or sarcasm; Dürheimer has plenty of cheek, as evidenced in his line that Bentley has "solved [the] problem" of there being no SUV on the market above the $170,000 mark.

At whatever price that ends up being, the EXP 9 F will be able to go off-road but won't be a devoted off-roader, capable enough, however, to handle Middle Eastern dunes, polo fields and yacht launches. And don't let anyone tell you that Bentley doesn't care about the help, either: the lauded interior, which isn't expected to change much for production, might get optional third-row seating for the owner's au pair. All those Swedish lasses can rest easy now.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      Unless they plan on lengthing the truck, the only place for a 3rd seat is the roof.
        • 2 Years Ago
        Clark Griswold and Mitt Romney wouldn't have a problem with that.
          • 2 Years Ago
          LOL! Touche! "anybody seen the Au Pair? MITT! Not again! Well, at least put the dog back in the car."
      • 2 Years Ago
      I won't debate the style - Not my taste, but I can't afford to eat at the restaurant. What I can point out, that others have stated, is that a Bentley has a certain size (grandness - presence) about it. Outside of the GT, which is a large GT by GT standards, Bentleys are huge cars. Stately. There's nothing stately about this SUV - it feels like they cheaped out with the platform badging VW Tourag, which can had, nicely loaded for $55K. Cadillac made a similar error when they released the XLR - It was a nice enough platform sharing job with the vet - but for the love of God Caddy - men wanted a large, grand, smooth touring convertible. Something at least the size of a MB CL. Know who you are... and be it.. Hey Lincoln - I hope you read these blogs, for you should come out with a CL fighting Mark 10 - call it the MK10 if you have to have your silly number naming, but build it. Use the new Mustang 500 as your top of the line engine. You'd clean house.
      • 2 Years Ago
      This concept has to be a joke..right? No one would really build this ugly thing would they? Worse yet..... no one would ever consider buying this thing at any price........ yet a Bentley Price tag???? What a big waste of time and money to get this to market.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Didn't Ford build an EXP...... 2 seater off the Escort in the 80's? At least that EXP had some style and purpose... Not so with this mound of crap.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Looks like the Pontiac Aztek has some serious competition now.
      Jonathan Ippolito
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm somewhat against a Bentley SUV and based on the look of this atrocity I am completely against the new SUV ever being produced . Come on Bentley at least make it attractive so it at least looks like a Bentley should .
      • 2 Years Ago
      Interesting, but does it come with a string quartet? Darn it Bentley.
      to your email L
      • 2 Years Ago
      How is this news, Ford had this back in the late 60's and even had a 3 way rear 'magic doorgate'.
      • 2 Years Ago
      kill it!
      • 2 Years Ago
      I really hope they get rid of those jet engine air intakes below the headlights. It'd really clean up the front end.
      The Wasp
      • 2 Years Ago
      For what it's worth, the maids/nannies taking care of children in the Middle East do not come from Sweden.
      • 2 Years Ago
      No worries. The au pair will fit back there despite the lack of leg room. She's only 5-4 and a size double-zero.
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