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VW board OKs Bentley SUV, report says

Design changed from EXP 9F concept.

By AutoWeek Feb 5, 2013 8:33AM

Bentley new SUV has been approved for production by parent Volkswagen, a German newspaper said.

VW's supervisory board has agreed to build an ultraluxury vehicle based on the EXP 9F concept unveiled at the 2012 Geneva motor show, Handelsblatt reported Feb. 4, citing board sources.

The SUV, internally codenamed Falcon, will retail starting at $271,000 (200,000 euros), the paper said. The model will likely be built at VW's plant in Slovakia, with final completion taking place at Bentley's plant in Crewe, England.

Bentley did not confirm the report. "We are still waiting for the official green light from Volkswagen," a spokeswoman told Automotive News Europe, adding that a decision in favor of production looks "very positive."

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 SUV likely will use an eight-cylinder engine and possibly an optional W12, he said.

The SUV will play a key part in Bentley's growth ambitions. Last year, the brand's global unit sales increased 22 percent to 8,510 cars. Bentley is targeting sales of up to 5,000 SUVs per year, according to Handelsblatt.

The vehicle would join similar models planned by Lamborghini and Maserati aimed at tapping into a growing market for ultraluxury SUVs among the super-rich in countries such as China and Russia.

-- David Jolley, Automotive News Europe


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Feb 5, 2013 9:27AM

It will be the new status symbol for rappers and elite athletes who need to replace their aging Escalades...

Feb 5, 2013 3:01PM
Dead on, MrChris, the new Land Rover "Flex" is out, and the Bentley is in!
Feb 6, 2013 12:37PM
And Bentley continues their tradition of building crass, ugly-as-sin cars after the takeover by VW. The only people attracted to these cars are rappers, athletes, trophy wives, and mobsters. The Bentley SUV looks like it's been designed by Wayne Rooney and Vinnie Jones, yikes!
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