Call it the Cayenne Syndrome, yet it seems that even ultra luxury manufacturers can no longer resist the temptation of offering some kind of Crossover Utility.
The latest is Bentley, whose current CEO Wolfgang Durheimer, confirmed on August 10, it will be offering an SUV of its very own.
However, considering that Durheimer actually worked on the Cayenne project while at Porsche (a vehicle that saw the marque’s sales double) the idea of a Bentley 4×4 perhaps isn’t so far out on left field. He also said that Bentley plans to offer diesel engines and possibly even Hybrid powertrains down the road; he also announced the marque will return to motor sport.
Getting back to the SUV concept, the Bentley, internally coded BY736, is likely to adopted aluminum space frame construction and according to insiders, styling in the idom of a a five-door ‘shooting brake,’ a posh term for sports wagon.
Hand craftsmanship will likely feature prominently as will a plethora of high technology features, ranging from driver aids to an adjustable air suspension.
In terms of powertrains, expect a W12 gas engine to be offered, along with an eight-speed automatic transmission, though in Europe at least, a diesel will also be available. While the VW corporate 4.2 TDI could be a possibility, it’s likely the Bentley’s oil burner will also be a 12-cylinder motor, more in keeping with the brand’s stature.
As was the case with Cayenne, Durheimer believes that this SUV could be a major profit center for Bentley, helping bolster sales beyond pre-recession levels of around 10,000 units world wide. In fact he said Bentley could produce as many as 30,000 cars a year and that even that annual total, wouldn’t has he describes it, ‘devalue’ the brand.
[Source: Car Magazine]