German carmaker Volkswagen plans to have its U.K. unit Bentley manufacture a luxury SUV, with the basic version costing EUR200,000, German daily Handelsblatt reported Monday, citing sources close to the VW supervisory board.
Bentley CEO Wolfgang Schreiber said at the Detroit auto show in January that the SUV's design will resemble the rest of the Bentley brand rather following than the controversial design of the EXP 9F concept. He said the SUV is expected to launch within three years.
The EXP 9 F concept on display in Beijing was based around the Bentley 6.0 litre, twin-turbocharged W12 petrol engine, developing 600bhp and 800 Nm of torque coupled with an 8-speed close-ratio transmission.
A range of other powertrain options are also under consideration. This includes Bentley's recently launched 500bhp, 4.0 litre petrol V8 as well as a groundbreaking powertrain for the luxury SUV segment – a V6 plug-in hybrid. With a potential 30km range in full electric mode and CO2 emissions of 130g/km, the V6 hybrid would still be capable of a 0 to 100km/h sprint time of less than 5 seconds.
"We are very excited by the potential of a high performance, ultra-luxury Bentley SUV. Since we first showed EXP 9 F at Geneva, the response has been overwhelming. Everyone seems to agree that an SUV is a natural fit for Bentley. An exciting range of drivetrain options including a hybrid V6 are under active consideration but one thing is for sure, any Bentley SUV would offer the thunderous performance for which the marque is renowned." Wolfgang Dürheimer, Chairman and Chief Executive, Bentley Motors.
The car will share a platform with the next Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne. The car’s shell will be built in Europe, with final assembly taking place in Crewe.