This is it for SUV lovers, the piece de resistance. Bentley is working on a design and engineering project to launch a very high-end £150,000 SUV by 2014, according to CEO Wolfgang Durheimer.
Design chief Dirk van Braeckel and engineering boss Uli Eichhorn are spearheading the project with Durheimer to get the SUV ready.
“I have great faith in the SUV market and it’s here to stay” says Durheimer, who counts the launch of the Porsche Cayenne during his tenure at Weissach as “one of my proudest achievements”.
The Bentley SUV will have hallmark styling with luxury wood and leather interior that will place it above the Range Rover in terms of quality. Bentley’s launch will coincidentally overlap with Aston Martin’s Lagonda 4×4. Bentley is unsure of what platform to use but may lean towards utilizing a version of Volkswagen Group’s new MLB setup. Interestingly, Durheimer was a key figure in the early platform enginnering of the MLB while at Porsche.
Durheimer has suggested using a diesel engine for the SUV. The company may lean towards implementing the immense Audi V12 TDi, and Durheimer has suggested that 738 lb-ft of torque is a suitable amount of power. A gasoline powered W12 will also be available for markets where diesels aren’t as popular.
The go-ahead has not been given to start production on the SUV as Bentley is still waiting to hear from the VW Board. However the British automaker is confident that the project will be given the green light.
[Source: Auto Car]