Bentley confirmed today, July 23rd, that it will proceed with the development of its first SUV, which will hit the market in 2016.
According to the automaker, this SUV will be “the most powerful SUV in the market” and that it will be manufactured at the Crewe plant, in England, Bentley did not offer any technical details about the vehicle, but what we know for sure is that it will be the most expensive in its segment, with a base price of 180,000 euro ($237,000).
This SUV will help the automaker expand into the fast-growing ultraluxury SUV market, and reach countries such as Russia and China, where luxury auto sales continue to grow. The automaker relies on this SUV to reach its target of selling 15,000 vehicles by 2018, almost double the current level. In 2012 Bentley sold 8,510 units, an increase of 22% from the previous year, while operating profit reached 100 million euro, from 8 million in 2011.
VW CEO Martin Winterkorn said in the same statement: “Bentley fans all around the world are looking forward to the brand’s first SUV. Together we will make this new Bentley another true Bentley – powerful, exclusive and successful.”
The automaker plans to make an investment of $1.23 billion in the following three years to develop the SUV, other new models and expand the Crewe headquarters. Bentley’s SUV might face tough competition from Lamborghini’s Urus SUV, which recently got Audi’s approval to be launched in 2017.