Bentley CEO Wolfgang Durheimer has given the green light to a third model line, according to Auto Motor und Sport. That model line would be a “less expensive” Bentley SUV to do battle with top-end Range Rovers and Porsche Cayennes. But does the world really such a premium luxury SUV?
Durheimersees potential in this segment, as there are few competitors in the ultra-luxe SUV market. The British marque would be able to compete at a higher price point and level of exclusivity to help differentiate itself from the competition. More importantly, Bentley’s key markets are seen as the U.S., Europe, and China -- all places where sport utilities and crossovers prove popular.
This SUV project has been on-again, off-again for years now. However, the basis has stayed constant: it will be based off of the same platform as the Porsche Cayenne/Volkswagen Touareg/Audi Q7. Bentley’s version will reportedly be most closely linked to the Porsche, although it will receive its own bespoke interior and exterior design. If it does finally come to fruition, expect it to reach dealers sometime around 2015, and help keep the Bentley range fresh after the full launches of theContinental and Mulsanne lines.
But is it really necessary? Right now, the most expensive SUVs you can buy are the $116,950 Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography, the $125,325 Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG, and the $108,075 Porsche Cayenne Turbo. Is there really room above that bracket for a $150,000 SUV, even with the flying B on the hood? Should Bentley even make an SUV, or should it expand elsewhere with its models and keep away from tarnishing the brand with a soft-roader? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Source: Auto Motor und Sport