A Bentley SUV is in the works after the company gave a green light to build the world’s priciest sport utility vehicle, a ride that could retail for $237,000 or more.
The super luxury vehicle will be among Bentley’s priorities for several years and company officials hope it will become the brand’s best-selling product, according to a report in The Washington Post
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Bentley is owned by the Volkswagen Group.
The new Bentley, which has long been anticipated in the auto industry, will go on sale in 2016.
Volkswagen expects demand to primarily come from China and Russia, which has a growing class of uber-wealthy consumers and where SUVs are increasingly popular, says Jonathon Poskitt, an analyst with LMC Automotive in Oxford, England.
“This is super premium moving into unchartered territory,” Poskitt told Bloomberg News.
“The others will be closely watching how Bentley does.”
The news agency said the SUV will compete with the $200,000 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, the $173,000 Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG, and the top-of-the line Range Rover, which starts at $150,000.
“We will make this new Bentley another true Bentley – powerful, exclusive and successful,” Volkswagen Chief Executive Officer Martin Winterkorn said in a statement.
“From Britain and destined to rule: not the Prince of Cambridge, but the greenlighted SUV from #BentleyMotors,” tweeted @JeanKnowsCars.
“So this is going to be a reality? Wow!” tweeted Sanket L. Patel, who uses the Twitter handle @5anket.
The SUV will powered by a twin-turbocharged, 4.0 liter V-8 engine, though a twin-turbocharged 6.0 liter W-12 could be an option.
The vehicle will be manufactured at Bentley’s main plant in Crewe, England.
Italian automaker Lamborghini, meanwhile, has announced it plans to launch its luxury SUV, called the Urus, in 2017.
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