As you may know already, Bentley is working hard on its first SUV, based on the EXP 9 F SUV Concept unveiled back in 2012 at the Geneva Motor Show. In a recent interview at the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed with Autocar, Bentley boss Wolfgang Durheimer confirmed that the new SUV will carry a price tag of more than $220,000 or 160,000 euros.
According to Durheimer, all the current luxury SUVs such as the BMW X5, AMG-powered Mercedes-Benz SUVs, the Range Rovers or the Porsche Cayenne end at around $220,000 (160,000 euros). Bentley wants to solve this “problem” and will offer a more expensive SUV but will not make it more expensive than the Mulsanne, which will remain company’s halo model.
The new SUV from Bentley will offer a top speed of 200 mph or 320 km/h and will offer the latest technologies available from parent company Volkswagen AG, such as the digital dashboard display found on the third-generation Audi TT.
In the concept form, the Bentley SUV was powered by a 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12 petrol engine that generated 600 hp and 800 Nm of torque, bolted to an 8-speed close-ration transmission. The smaller 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine will be offered too, delivering over 500 hp.
For those looking for a fuel-efficient version, Bentley will offer a plug-in hybrid version that could use a smaller V6 engine as well as an electric motor. This version could offer an electric range of up to 30 km (18 miles), while CO2 emissions will be 130 g/km.
Still, the plug-in hybrid version will be capable to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than 5 seconds.
The balance between SUV presence and sportiness of the new Bentley Bentayga is made possible by its bonnet, wheel arches and fenders. As viewed from the sides, the sharp power line as well as the muscular rear haunch of the new Bentayga -- part of the largest single-piece aluminum pressing in the world of automotive – show a tight tension. As expected, the new Bentayga is provided with a number of signature Bentley elements like the large matrix grille and B-shaped wing vents.
The large matrix grille is flanked by four floating all-LED headlamps sitting flush within the smooth aluminum front fenders. The discreet headlamp washers, meanwhile, are housed within the body-colored center of the outer lamp. Helping highlight the go-anywhere character of the Bentley Bentayga is a skid plate integrated elegantly into the lower section of the front bumper, just below the floating wing motif.
On the rear end, the new 'B'-shaped illumination graphic is incorporated within the segmented tail lights, lending the Bentayga its easily recognizable night-time signature.
Compared to a traditional body construction, the body of the new Bentayga is lighter by around 236 kilograms. This is thanks to the fact that the body of the Bentayga was crafted to employ the combination of advanced design and innovative engineering as well as state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies that partly entailed the use of lightweight aluminum.