Bentley officially announced plans today to build its first SUV, which will go on sale in 2016.
“Bentley fans all around the world are looking forward to the brand’s first SUV. Together we will make this new Bentley another true Bentley – powerful, exclusive and successful,” Volkswagen Group CEO Martin Winterkorn said.
But other news around the brand’s fourth model line is still unannounced. The company hasn’t released an official photo. It isn’t clear which engine it will use. Until recently, the turbocharged W12 engine would have seemed like a natural choice because in Bentley’s words: “it will be the most luxurious and most powerful SUV in the market.”
But current iterations of that engine aren’t actually much more powerful than the turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 that makes 600 hp in the Continental GT3. Pricing is also still unannounced. The twelve-cylinder mill is due for an update, which means it could still be a viable option.
Bentley unveiled the first concept iteration of its SUV — the EXP 9 F — during the 2012 Geneva Motor Show almost a year and a half ago. Despite a widely critical reaction by the automotive media, the company insisted that Bentley owners reacted favorably to it. It’s also worth noting that the concept form used the brand’s 6.0-liter W12 engine.
Still, it won’t be a surprise if the final version takes styling cues from the Continental rather than the Mulsanne. It will most likely be based on the same platform as the next-generation Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne.
GALLERY: Bentley EXP 9 F SUV Concept
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