Bentley’s new SUV will get a fresh look for production, although the concept’s interior is likely to be carried over unchanged, company insiders have revealed.

Production of the Bentley EXP 9 F concept is now “a foregone conclusion” and the car is “in the development phase, with a dedicated start of production date and a price”, according to Autocar sources.

The 9 F could account for 5000 sales each year — a third of Bentley’s target output for the middle of the decade.

The brash styling of the EXP 9 F concept, which made its debut at the Geneva show last March, was greeted with surprise by many commentators. Although debate raged about the car’s looks, Bentley sources have not, until now, commented on the likelihood of the 9 F making production unchanged.

However, Autocar has established that three proposals for the 9 F’s final styling are now being considered. A final decision should be made in the next few months as production is expected to start in mid-2014.

The 9 F will be based on an all-new platform shared with the next-generation Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne, using bodies assembled and painted at a factory in mainland Europe then shipped to Crewe.

A new-generation V12 and Bentley’s new turbocharged V8 will be among the engines offered with the 9 F. The car could also be the first Bentley offered with a diesel engine. A V6 petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain is also expected.