Bentley’s new SUV is due to enter production in 2016 and should be in showrooms either that year or in early 2017. Today we have our first spy shots of a prototype for the new SUV, which in addition to testing new mechanicals is being used to promote a new microsite that already contains a few teasers and will be updated with more information as we approach the eventual reveal.
The prototype is heavily camouflaged, with most of the panels found at the front and rear sections tacked on to hide the true shape. However, we can still ascertain a number of details from the latest shots and also peer into the lavish interior.
The styling of the new SUV is based on Bentley’s EXP 9 F concept from 2012
, although the somewhat gaudy design of the concept is being updated to something more elegant and athletic. A previous teaser image
shows that Bentley designers have adopted four individual lights for the production SUV’s headlights as opposed to the two lights fitted to the concept, and this is confirmed in the latest spy shots.
The interior features Bentley’s traditional leather, wood and metal elements. We can also see that the vehicle is getting a new design for the air vents as well as a digital instrument cluster complete with head-up display. Expect a sophisticated electronic interface to go along with the new instrument cluster. Third-row seating is planned
, though it’s not clear if this will be standard or optional.
Underpinning the vehicle is the SUV version of the Volkswagen Group’s next-generation MLB Evo platform that debuts in the 2015 Q7 and, in shortened form, will eventually appear in the next-generation versions of the Porsche Cayenne, Volkswagen Touareg and a new SUV from Lamborghini
based on 2012’s Urus concept. Previous test mules for the Bentley SUV were even hidden beneath the makeshift body of a current-generation Q7.
In the powertrain department, expect Bentley’s current V-8 and W-12 engines to be featured. The prototype here is fitted with the W-12, as denoted by its oval exhaust tips. Bentley’s V-8 models get exhaust tips with a figure-eight design. The automaker has also confirmed that a plug-in hybrid system will be offered
in the new SUV, though it’s not clear yet what internal combustion engine the system will incorporate. We’ll most likely see the V-8 used although there’s the possibility Bentley may utilize a V-6 engine to help maximize efficiency.
Production of the new SUV will take place at Bentley’s main facility in Crewe, England. While there have been reports the SUV may be called a Falcon, this is unlikely given Ford’s rights to the name.
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