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by Jay Traugott
Although it was supposed to be a good business decision, Bentley's SUV concept was a design failure.
By now I'm sure you're all aware of the debacle Bentley brought to this year's Geneva Motor Show. Their EXP 9F SUV concept was perhaps the biggest disappointment of Europe's largest annual car event. For a brand like Bentley, this was a huge embarrassment. Besides from the concept having (a) a weird name and (b) the deformed appearance of an enlarged Mulsanne built for those who have no taste but have money to spend, it simply failed to meet expectations.
And now a recent report coming from Motor Trend is stating that the automaker opted to build the SUV instead of a new sports car. And what would have that new Bentley sports car been pitted against? The Porsche 911 Turbo. In the end, the SUV option was the better business decision simply because the 911 Turbo is a huge (if not impossible) benchmark to overcome. Only now Bentley designers have to go back to the drawing board for a second go around on their SUV project that, if done right, will bring a solid profit for the automaker. Bentley has admitted as much, but they haven't said when we can expect to see round two of their SUV concept.