The fact that the Volkswagen Group's Bentley brand is planning on bringing an SUV to market is no great secret, with the EXP 9 F concept being shown at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. But confirmed specifics from the company on powertrains, pricing and specifications have been scarce up until now, being mostly educated guesses by media outlets. The form and plans of the future SUV are starting to come into clearer focus, thanks to a report from Britain's Auto Express.
Appropriately for a Bentley, the starting price is expected to come in around $200,000, putting it on par with top-of-the-line models from Range Rover, and just above a fully-equipped Porsche Cayenne, which can run well into the six figures with the numerous personalization options available. Initially expected to be closer in size to the Audi Q7, and possibly having three-row seating, the AutoExpress report says the production version of the Bentley SUV will be closer in size to the Cayenne.
The SUV may be the first Bentley to get a diesel engine option, with the most likely candidate being the VW Group's flagship 4.2-liter turbodiesel, a version of which is used in the Porsche Cayenne Diesel S, producing a generous 627 lb-ft of torque. In addition to the diesel, the SUV could also be the first Bentley to get a plug-in hybrid powertrain. According to Auto Express, Bentley CEO Wolfgang Schreiber himself said to expect the plug-in hybrid option by 2017 in the SUV.