Bentley SUV design finalised, reveals design boss

Bentley SUV design finalised, reveals design boss

The styling for Bentley’s first SUV has been signed off ahead of production starting in 2016, but it won’t look like the controversial EXP 9 F concept

The design of the Bentley SUV has been signed off for production in 2016, but it will have no relation to the controversial EXP 9 F concept car, company design chief Luc Donkerwolke has revealed to Autocar.

Donkerwolke said that he started designing the SUV in the spring and summer of 2012, in the days after the concept’s reveal at the Geneva motor show, while working at Volkswagen Group’s main design centre. He was then appointed Bentley design chief that summer, tasked with bringing his design to production.

“The design is now signed off for production,” he said. “The concept is completely set apart and was done separately. After Geneva 2012, I was told to do a new one. It’s completely different to the concept car.

“The concept was only intended to pose the question, ‘can we do a Bentley SUV?’, rather than showing a production car. I started with new parameters and a clean sheet [of paper].”

Donkerwolke, who has just spent a week driving test mules of the car, said he’s never actually seen the concept in person, and that the model is now in storage, having been used for customer clinics in 2012 after the Geneva show.

He said he did not yet know the name of the production car, but several were being proposed. A decision is expected to be made soon so that design work can begin on elements such as badges.

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