Bentley is set to launch its first-ever SUV in 2016, and a prototype has just been spotted. The prototype is heavily camouflaged but it’s evident the styling has been influenced by 2012’s EXP 9 F concept car
. We can also see that the prototype is being used to promote a new microsite (www.NewBentley.com) that already contains a few teasers and will be updated with more information as we approach the eventual reveal.
Underpinning the vehicle is the SUV version of the Volkswagen Group’s next-generation MLB Evo platform, which debuts in the 2015 Audi Q7
and, in shortened form, will eventually appear in next-generation versions of the Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg as well as a new SUV from Lamborghini
based on 2012’s Urus concept.
Inside, look for Bentley’s traditional leather, wood and metal elements. We can 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, as well as third-row seating
In the powertrain department, Bentley’s current V-8 and W-12 engines will be offered. The prototype here is fitted with the W-12, indicated 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 plant 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. For more details, including teasers and additional spy shots, click here for our previous report
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