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Bentley Going W-12 And V-12 In SUV

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On: Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 5:12PM | By: Chris Weiss

Bentley Going W-12 And V-12 In SUV

Wolfgang Durheimer is clearly a man that likes to distinguish his vehicles as the best of the best. That's good, because he happens to head two of the world's most exclusive auto brands: Bugatti and Bentley. Reports recently indicated that Durheimer was unsatisfied with the Bugatti 16C Galibier and sent the already extreme sedan back to engineers for more power and more interior roominess to ensure it separated itself from other ultra-premium and tuned sedans.

That same uncompromising attitude is ensuring that the upcoming Bentley SUV (which hopefully doesn't look too much like Autocar's artist rendering above) will stand head and shoulders above the rest of the sport utility riff-raff as the most luxurious option on the road.

Durheimer, who recently confirmed the SUV, told Autocar: "We will be first to use a 12-cylinder petrol engine in a luxury SUV. I like this idea; it makes clear whose car is the boss," sentiments that sound quite similar to the logic Durheimer reportedly had in wanting an upgrade to the Bugatti Galibier's 800-hp output.

The W-12 will be the next generation version of the Continental line's 6.0-liter W-12 engine, which currently puts out 567-hp. That initial option will be followed by V-12 TDI option developed by Audi. There's no mention of the Continental's V-8 option making it over to the SUV.

The Bentley SUV will borrow architecture from the Porsche Cayenne, but Durheimer said recently that it will be distinctly Bentley in terms of design, mentioning elements like the grille, headlamps, sporty profile and tailpipes.

While the Bentley SUV and its W-12 will stand well above competitor luxury SUVs like the Porsche Cayenne and Range Rover, it is likely to gain some competition from within Volkswagen AG. Lamborghini is in the process of testing a prototype SUV and is likely to green light that model early next year. While Lamborghini's SUV should be a little sportier than Bentley's, it will be a luxury model, with V-12 power likely.

The Bentley SUV is looking like a 2015 release, while the Lamborghini model could launch a year later. Durheimer is confident that the model will sell well, stating that 90 percent of Bentley owners also have an SUV in their garages.


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