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After several rumours about Bentley putting their EXP 9F Concept into production, the British automaker has finally made it official. The company will develop their first SUV, which will be the fourth model in their lineup. The upcoming Bentley SUV will be manufactured in Crewe, England and will be launched in 2016. The production of this model will lead to the creation of over 1000 jobs. Bentley will invest £800 million (Rs. 7335 crores) in developing new models and this announcement was made at its headquarters. A new vehicle rolls of the assembly line every 20 seconds in Britain.
“Bentley fans all around the world are looking forward to the brand’s first SUV. Together we will make this new Bentley another true Bentley – powerful, exclusive and successful,” Dr Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board, Volkswagen Group, said.
Bentley has been gathering feedback from existing Bentley customers for their upcoming SUV. The company showcased the EXP 9F Concept which has got an extremely positive response, since its unveil around 16 months back. Bentley claims their upcoming SUV will be the most luxurious yet the most power SUV in the market. It will feature Bentley DNA of luxury, quality, craftsmanship and most importantly performance. The company states that their SUV will be very apart from other SUVs on the road.
Why is Bentley launching an SUV, when they really should be focusing on their existing line of luxury cars, which compete with BMW owned Rolls-Royce. BMW is also planning to launch a luxury SUV in 2017, from the Rolls-Royce stable. But clearly Volkswagen doesn’t care much about what BMW is doing. Instead the focus is to steal some thunder from Land Rover’s highly successful Range Rover, which is by far the best SUV in the world today, commanding a waiting period of up to one year in certain markets. Volkswagen wants to rival the Range Rover and has chosen Bentley as the company through which they will enter the premium SUV space. Volkswagen owned Lamborghini also showcased a luxury SUV, called the Urus.
The Bentley SUV will certainly find a lot of flavour in China, one of the biggest luxury car markets in the world. The vehicle is expected to use the same engines which power the current Continentals. One can expect the 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12 engine to power the Bentley SUV. This motor belts out around 625 PS of power and 800 Nm of torque, mated to a 8-speed automatic gearbox. A hybrid powerplant is likely too but no diesel engine will be offered, at least not initially.
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