THE picture is the first official image of Bentley’s SUV, which we can expect to see on the roads in 2016.
Bentley first showed an SUV as a concept – the EXP 9 F – at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, but even Wolfgang Schreiber, the boss of the Crewe luxury brand, admitted that the reaction to the car was “less than positive”. (Take a look at our story.)
Others were less subtle – “bulbous and ugly” – were among the comments heard by this writer at the Geneva unveiling, with most criticism centring on the huge, single headlamps that made the car look like it was wearing a pair of glasses.
The new picture, while giving little away, does show that as promised, Bentley has completely redesigned the look of the car, which now sports the brand’s typical four-headlight front end.
According to Bentley Chairman and CEO Dr Wolfgang Schreiber the car will be the most luxurious and powerful SUV on the market, setting it apart from any other SUV.
“It will create a completely new segment in the SUV market,” Schreiber says.
Bentley’s Head of Product Management Paul Jones has previously told Business Car Manager; “If you think of a top-end Range Rover, Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, we would have clear water between those and where we start – our car will be the absolute pinnacle of SUVs in every sense.”
Bentley hopes to sell 3000 SUVs each year, forming a major part of the its £800 million investment over the next 3 years. Rumours have suggested that the car will usher in the brand’s first diesel engine, but this hasn’t been confirmed. However there is widely predicted to be a plug-in hybrid version at some point.
Even with such eco-friendly tech, however, with predicted Bentley SUV prices starting somewhere above £125,000, it will still be a hard sell for your accountant…