The news reiterates Bentley's affirmation to make the ultimate luxury SUV (image above is an artist rendering and not representative of the real car). Specific engine details are still unknown but it's more than likely to be the next generation of the company's W12 engine currently used in the Continental lineup.
Talking to UK's AutoCar, Bentley CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer said he liked the idea of a 12-cylinder petrol in a luxury SUV as it "makes clear whose car is the boss". Who can argue with that logic?
That's not to say you'll only have an option for a W12 petrol in your Bentley SUV, because the company is likely to design the engine bay to eventually take a V12 diesel from the Audi parts bin as well.
In order to give the project the maximum chance for success, Bentley has replaced its chief engineer with Rolf Frech who brings extensive knowledge from Porsche (having worked on the Cayenne).
Bentley is building a luxury SUV model as it believes demand for such a car is already there with internal research showing 99 percent of Bentley owners also owning an SUV (although we suspect, they probably also own every other type of car as well).
“Absolutely thousands of premium SUVs have been sold — Cayennes, Range Rovers, Q7s and so on — but nobody has given those owners the chance to upgrade. We will.” Dürheimer told AutoCar.
The so far unnamed Bentley SUV is expected for release in 2015 when the company's other models are likely to be towards the end of their life-cycle.