Frankfurt Highlights: The First Ever SUVs from British Automakers

SUV is a big segment in the car’s industry, including luxury SUV. That’s why British automakers, Bentley and Jaguar are tempted to plunge to SUV segment. A car that they never make before and a segment that they never try. Yeah, everyone knows that Bentley is always make good ultra-luxury sedan, Mulsanne. And people know that Jaguar is good in making luxury car, like the legendary XJ Series. The next question is how good their SUV is? Is it still luxury? And could it be brought to go off-road?

Bentley EXP 9 F Concept that was shown at 2012 Geneva Motor Show marked how interest the British company to make an SUV. And now at 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, Bentley officially introduced the production version of its first ever SUV, named Bentayga.

It’s built on the modified MLB-Evo platform that has been used on the latest Audi Q7. Bentley’s designers seems took some inspirations from the concept version. Up front, there are small LED Daytime Running Lights that also serves as turn signal and bigger LED headlights.Bentley’s typical grille with diamond accent still on the car. When I saw it from the front side at a glance it’s like a Continental GT SUV. But it’s still looked good and elegant. At the rear, we can see the production version is slightly boxier than EXP 9 F. Its LED taillights comes up with smaller dimension than the concept. The twin-exhaust prove that this is a fast SUV.

Let’s go to the interior. I never doubt the Bentley quality material for its cabin. And Bentayga is one of them. It features ultra-luxury cabin with handcrafted woods, metal trims, and sumptuous leather. All seats are available with contrast stitching and diamond accent. Moreover, the front seat is equipped with 22-way adjustment, 6-program massage, heating system, and ventilation. The SUV also gets an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with a 60 GB hard drive, a removable 10.2-inch Android tablet Bentley with 4G connectivity, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for rear passengers, 3-choice audio systems, a 1,950-watt unit from Naim with 18-speaker, and other luxury and optional features.

If you are an anti-mainstream man/woman, you can choose Bentley’s Mulliner Bespoke Program. It offers personalization things for your Bentayga. You can choose 90 exterior colors, 15 carpet options, 7 handcrafted veneers, 15 choices of interior trim, and several alloy wheel options in size from 20 to 22 inches.

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Under the hood, Bentley put W12 6.0 liter gasoline engine. The powertrain also equipped with twin-turbocharged, producing 600 hp, 900 Nm of torque, and mated to 8-speed automatic transmission. Bentayga can reach 0-100 km/h in 4.1 seconds and its top speed up to 301 km/h. Bentley claims that its SUV is the fastest and the most powerful SUV in the world.

For adventure stuff, Bentley offers Drive Dynamic Mode as a standard, with an optional Responsive Off-Road Setting. It provides 8 driving modes plus a computer-controlled, adjustable air spring, with four ride heights.

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At 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show everyone was surprised when Jaguar unveiled C-X17 Concept. It was an SUV concept that previews the first ever utility vehicle from British carmaker. And two years later, at the same event Jaguar introduced the production-spec of its first SUV, called F-Pace. So, why Jaguar builds an SUV? Ian Callum, Design Director of Jaguar said that The world was telling them in no uncertain terms this is what they wanted.

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The 2017 Jaguar F-Pace is built-on Jaguar’s Lightweight Aluminum Architecture. The exterior design is almost the same like other Jaguar cars (I’m a little bit disappoint because I hope a brand new exterior styling). Up front, the LED headlights has the same shape like 2016 XF and it features LED Daytime Running Lights, too. Other Jaguar’s typical part on the exterior are a big grille and big air dams is featured in this SUV. And at the rear, you can see LED taillights that has same shape like in latest XF and F-Type. Overall, even though I’m a little bit disappoint and F-Pace is looked like XF SUV, it still has nice exterior styling. Even, it’s better than Bentley Bentayga.

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For the powertrain, Jaguar offers gasoline and diesel engines. The entry level is 2.0 liter diesel producing 177 hp, 2.0 liter gasoline with 237 hp, 3.0 liter diesel produces 296 hp, 3.0 liter gasoline with two option maximum outputs, 335 hp and 375 hp. The car is offered with RWD or AWD system. For the body structure, Jaguar announced that it has 80% aluminum too keep light. It means that F-Pace is the only SUV with aluminum-intensive monocoque in the segment.

To be able driving off-road, Jaguar immerses torque-on-demand all-wheel-drive system which is claimed as the most sophisticated and has the highest torque capacity. It has IDD (Intelligent Driveline Dynamic) that you can find in F-Type AWD. IDD retains rear-wheel drive agility and handling character but can seamlessly transfer torque to the front wheels to get extra traction on all surfaces and in all weathers. Jaguar F-Pace also get Land Rover’s technology, like Adaptive Surface Response (ASR), developed from the Terrain Response technology. Integrated into Jaguar Drive Control, ASR identifies the type of surface and optimizes the mapping of the powertrain and Dynamic Stability Control system.

Text: Andhika Pradityo

Photos: Bentley & Jaguar

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