2010 Bentley Continental GT SpeedEnlarge Photo
Buoyed by its best sales results since the 2008 global financial crisis Bentley looks set to give the go ahead for a new upscale SUV to be launched sometime in 2014 and come powered by a 12-cylinder engine.
Importantly, Bentley intends for its model to be positioned above any SUV currently on the market, which means pricing is likely to start at more than $140,000.
At a recent press event Bentley boss Wolfgang Duerheimer said that Volkswagen Group’s upper management will make the final call in the first quarter of 2012, adding that he expected a “positive decision,” The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) reports.
Such a plan also bodes well for a new Lamborghini SUV, which as we learned from Lambo CEO Stephan Winkelmann is on the cards for the brand’s third model line. A decision on the new Lamborghini is also expected in the first quarter of the year, making an announcement at March's 2012 Geneva Motor Show almost certain.
A new super-sedan styled along the lines of 2008’s Estoque concept car is also a possibility, though with Bentley launching a new SUV and strong demand for sporty soft-roaders coming from emerging markets such as China, Russia, and India, a high-performance SUV from Lamborghini is looking more and more likely.
The story doesn’t end there as Duerheimer has also revealed that Bentley is planning more variants of the top-selling Continental GT and GTC models. At this month’s 2012 Detroit Auto Show the automaker from Crewe, England will unveil a new V-8 option for the Continental range and beyond that we could see even more daring models.
"I can well imagine a new two-seater coupe, a racing version and a car with a new roof system," Duerheimer said at the same press event.
Duerheimer, as many may already know, was the former head of research and development at Porsche, and we all know how good Porsche is at spinning out different variants of its iconic 911. Duerheimer was also largely responsible for the successful launch of the Porsche Cayenne SUV so it’s safe to say that he knows a thing or two about launching risky models.