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Bentley Chief Says SUV On The Way

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On: Fri, Jul 22, 2011 at 11:15AM | By: Chris Weiss

Bentley Chief Says SUV On The Way

It really shouldn't come as any surprise at this point. Everyone else is doing it, so why not Bentley? Plus, Bentley SUV rumors are nothing new; they've been around since SUVs were actually topical. 

According to German magazine Auto Motor und Sport, Bentley is planning to build an SUV to compete with other luxury SUVs like the Porsche Cayenne and Range Rover. And the magazine received the word from Bentley chief (and former Porsche exec) Wolfgang Durheimer.

According to Auto Motor und Sport's report, Durheimer said that the SUV is important to Bentley's biggest markets in the United States, China, and Europe, and will therefore make a viable product in the Bentley line. The report is extremely light on details, leaving things like launch date, platform, engine options, and pricing up to the imagination. Presumably, Bentley's thinking of a full-size SUV as opposed to a Range Rover Evoque/Porsche Cajun-like crossover.

Past Bentley SUV rumors indicated that the Cayenne may lend its platform over to Crewe, while W-12 and V-8 engine options will be borrowed from the Continental GT. If those engine options hold out, the Bentley will be a few steps above other luxury SUVs, likely starting at over $150,000.

Unlike higher volume auto manufacturers who are moving away from larger SUVs, Bentley doesn't have to worry about emissions all that much. Its current line is already pretty abysmal in terms of efficiency and emissions, so an SUV won't necessarily make its overall numbers that much worse. Plus, it has the greater Volkswagen Group to offset its piss-poor ratings.

One thing is for sure: Bentley styling should translate into an SUV more readily than Porsche styling. I always found the 911-inspired Cayenne to look a little ridiculous, but the more regal, luxurious styling of Bentley cars like the Mulsanne and Continental GT should look okay when transplanted onto a big body. Of course, that's only if they get it right.

How many Bentley owners do you think will be taking their luxury SUV off the pavement? Zero, maybe?


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