Bentley is rushing to introduce an SUV with “legitimate off-road capability” in time for the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, according to a report from Auto Week. The magazine, a sister publication to Automotive News Europe, said that the SUV will get a W12 powerplant. Ultra-luxury marquee Bentley has yet to confirm that this model will debut in Geneva.
However, the brand said that it is thinking about introducing an SUV to help lessen its dependence on the Continental range, which accounts for almost 90% of Bentley sales.
This SUV would help Volkswagen-owned Bentley expand into new markets such as China and Russia and for its annual sales to more than double to 15,000 units by 2017. When interviewed by Automotive News Europe, Bentley CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer said that the brand will decide later this year if it will present the SUV. If it gets the go signal, the model will be launched within three years at the latest.
Several unique concepts are applied on this Bentley SUV but it also uses parts from the Colorado platform that is used on the Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne and VW Touareg. At the Detroit auto show last January, Duerheimer told the Financial Times that Bentley would seek to sell around 2,500 units of the SUV each year. In 2011, Bentley increased its global sales by 37% to 7,003 units, aided by the rising demand for models in China, North America and Germany.