The upcoming Bentley SUV, yet to be named, is going to be a ‘true Bentley’ in that it will be powerful, exclusive, and successful. Following the close of the 2012 Geneva Auto Show, where the EXP 9F concept SUV was initially unveiled, over 2000 inquiries regarding preordering Bentley’s SUV took place.

Originally the concept EXP 9F was met with mixed reviews. While some were drawn to the over-the-top glitz and glam of this ultra-exclusive SUV, many more were wanting a pure Bentley… maybe something that still mixed the exclusivity and comfort Bentley is known for but also mating that to Land Rover Range Rover with their ruggedness and off-road capability.

Going back to the drawing board, Bentley CEO and Chairman Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber had this to say when asked about any revisions or updates from the concept SUV, “All. Front, rear, sides, roof… it is a true Bentley. Everyone will see, even 100 metres away, that it’s a Bentley.”

Looking to what Bentley has produced so far in its current 3-model line up there are a few design queues that will carry over to the SUV. The Quad-look headlamp system, signature grille, and the sloping rear window will all make up this New Bentley. Also transitioning over from the other models is the top speed, Bentley wants this SUV to go 200mph… again they want an SUV from factory to go 200mph!

Regarding the powerplant and driveline, little is known yet if past Bentley models speak to what could be used in the future there is a good chance we will see two engine variants of the SUV. The more powerful W12 engine is sure to be a big seller when the Bentley SUV arrives in 2016. This will be the King Bentley and could very well become the best selling car for Bentley, overtaking the Continental GT.

With more concentration and attention on dwindling fossil fuels, being environmentally aware, and passing on fuel cost savings to customers, Bentley will more than likely drop their V8 engine into the SUV for a more modest approach to the ultra-luxury SUV segment.

What will likely follow after the planned release in 2016 is the inclusion of a hybrid engine from Bentley. Rumors are swirling into if they would develop a V6 engine, or just repurpose a V8 to fit with an additional hybrid engine. This hybrid version Bentley SUV wouldn’t be seen until the 2017 model year. Either way whatever engine is employed, the new Bentley SUV “. . . will create a completely new segment in the SUV market.”

The price of the Bentley SUV has not yet been released and any figures being disseminated today are purely speculative. For what its worth, we here at Morrie’s Luxury Auto think that a sticker of $180,000 will get you the most basic Bentley with a V8 engine. For those top-tier managers, CEOs, and business owners the W12 Bentley SUV fully-optioned may well be north of $250,000. As of this writing those numbers are purely speculative, once we have more concrete pricing information be sure to check back with those updated figures.

What is known is that Bentley plans to sell between 6000 to 7000 units each year once production is running at full steam. Generating over 400 new jobs and keeping the production in-house in Crewe, England, the reported 70 to 90 percent sales boost from the SUV is well within reach.

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