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Confirmed: First Bentley SUV will arrive in 2016

By Bob Nagy on July 25, 2013 3:36 PM
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It's now official. Bentley will expand its lineup of luxury vehicles with a new sport utility model that's set to arrive in showrooms at some point in 2016. While revealing few technical details about the vehicle, Bentley Chairman and Chief Executive, Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber, did indicate that it would be "a thoroughbred Bentley" as well as the most luxurious and most powerful SUV in the market. Bentley's new baby, which some sources indicate may be called the Falcon, will be built at the automaker's main factory in Crewe, England. During the next three years, Bentley and its parent company Volkswagen Group plan to invest over $1.2 billion to cover development of this and other Bentley models, adding over 1,000 new jobs in the process.

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While Schreiber also confirmed that the styling of Bentley's newest family member will set it apart from any other SUV on the road, don't expect it to share much in common with the look of the controversial Bentley EXP 9 F Concept (pictured) that was presented last year in Geneva. Based on the sole official sketch released at this point, exterior styling of this super-luxo SUV will remain more closely aligned with the automaker's current design language, including a signature rear fender "kick" and an elegantly flowing roofline.

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It's believed that the new Bentley SUV will be based on VW's new MLB platform architecture that also will underpin the upcoming Audi A7, Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg SUV models. While powertrain choices are expected to include the automaker's 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 and 4.0-liter turbocharged V8, a more fuel-efficient V8 turbodiesel as well as a plug-in hybrid model also are rumored. Whatever form it may take or powertrain it may use, Bentley's new SUV will not be a cheap date. Pricing is expected to start somewhere between $200,000 and $225,000.

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