Bentley wants its SUV to reach 200 mph image

Bentley has big plans for its upcoming SUV, which is scheduled to arrive in dealerships in 2016. The carmaker wants the SUV to be able to reach a top speed of 200 mph (322 km/h), with this being one of the main requests from engineers.

Following the decision to redesign the EXP 9 F concept under the leadership of design chief Luc Donckerwolke, Bentley has decided that a 200 mph top speed would help the SUV fit in with its range of high-speed coupes and sedans.

“The concept got the idea out there, but we’ve been working on the real car and some things needed to change,” a source told Autocar. The EXP 9 F has been under development for about a year, but a significant part of the work has been a fundamental redesign.

To make a 200 mph top speed possible, Bentley has lowered the roofline, modified the rear end in order to create a more aerodynamic shape and paid strong attention to the underbody aerodynamics. The lower roofline will reduce the frontal area and make up for the wide stance of the SUV, expected to boast nearly 2 meters in overall width.

Besides the 200 mph top speed, Bentley also wants its SUV to have off-road abilities, which will be quite a challenge, especially for the tyre manufacturer.

images showing the EXP 9F Concept SUV during the Geneva Motor Show