The Open Road - If Bentley & Chanel Had a Love Child....

Let's be honest with ourselves.  Recently Bentley has gotten a bad rap. No.  I don't mean that P.Diddy put a Conti GT in his newest video and the "song" was sub-par.

Honestly, I've dished a bit of it myself.  Not because I'm a BMW driver (I am...).  Not because I can't afford one (yet)(I can't).  And certainly not because I don't appreciate a piece of artwork on four wheels (I can and do). But because they are sending to market this:

Don't get me wrong.  It's not the best looking SUV on the block.  We all know that.  The press knows that.  Bentley knows that.  Which is why they've sent it back once before for a redesign before introducing the hard concept to the public.  Opinions are subjective and I have to respect Bentley's lead designer, David Hilton for sticking to his guns.  I mean hell, we all took Chris Bangle (then head of BMW's design team) over the coals for introducing what has come to affectionately be known as the Bangle Bustle, a design motif present on the last body style 6 and 7 series BMW.  In the end and since his departure in 2009, we've seen a drastic tone down and "rental-car" sensibility come from BMW's current design staff.

Basically we may turn our noses at the quad headlight design on the EXP 9 F concept now but considering Hilton claims the design is reflective of Bentleys to come, we better get used to it.  Like it or don't buy it I say.

So we're beating Hilton with a cat o' nine tails all because it looks like Takashi Murakami designed the front end of his happy monster SUV.  BUT.... there is redemption my friends.  Ultimately, Bentley did not fail us when it came to what they do best.  If you've ever sat in one, drove one or just plain ogled one you know what I'm talking about.

The Interior.

Say what you will about the four-eyed beast but leave your insults for the exterior because Bentley has gone the uber distance to make sure you'll forget all about them once you're behind the wheel.  I don't normally swoon over interiors (with exception to vintage vehicle interiors made with REAL wood from REAL trees cut down by REAL men) but I'll gladly ogle this one.

Handcrafted elements from bronze, aluminum and gunmetal.

Silk wool floormats.

Diamond quilted soft-touch leather.

Bespoke picnic hampers and a cooled compartment for champagne.

Are we talking about a country house or a car because I'm confused reading Bentley's description.  Though they may cost nearly the same (it's rumoured the EXP 9 F will start at $200,000 USD) only the Bentley can be easily moved.  And yes, it comes with an awning over the tailgate to "protect those seated there".  I figured you were asking that question because you know this is an option you really want.

Julia Roberts would have killed to have one of these in the polo scene of Pretty WomanWhoop Whoop Whoop.

Though really, take a closer peek at the interior.  Bentley has taken great strides in blending a perfected mix of vintage aerospace, current technological innovation, and a lady's Chanel bag.  Although the gentle negative curve of the veneer dash is sexy, the upward "swoop" of the door panels racy, and the quilted leather absolutely orgasmic, it is that singular aluminum & leather unit that runs from front to back finally encompassing the rear the mirror that truly makes this interior something straight out of First Class on Air Emirates.

Did you catch sight of the Union Jack motif in the door sills?  How about the contrasting body matched leather welt around the dashboard? Or that gentle curve of the seat foundation that looks like Hermes included four saddles? That's contrasting stitched leather on the ceiling people.  THE CEILING.

Did I mention it has a compartment for champagne?

Have I swooned enough?  Have I made up for my incessant torturous remarks about the four headlamps and curiously vague tail lights?  We'll leave that up to the PR people at Bentley to decide.  I'm hoping it has.

D.Coop was not compensated for this post though I'm really hoping Bentley let's me sit in this thing when it hits the states. 

Images courtesy [1], [2], [3], [4]