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Bentley SUV confirmed for 2016 release

Bentley is laying down the gauntlet to high-end rivals, claiming its new Bentley SUV will be “the most luxurious and most powerful SUV” when it goes on sale in 2016.

Bentley SUV sketch

The Volkswagen-owned British brand has confirmed it will build an SUV at its Crewe headquarters in England after previewing such as model with the 2012 Bentley EXP 9F concept.

The company also announced it was investing 800,000 pounds ($1.3 million) in its Crewe HQ and the development of new models, while it will create 1000 new jobs in the UK it said.

Bentley EXP 9F front side

The EXP 9F drew plenty of media criticism at its March 2012 reveal at the Geneva motor show, and Bentley admitted to CarAdvice then that it was looking to refine the final design.

Bentley says there has been an “extremely positive response” to the SUV from customers since, however.

There are few details yet, though Bentley says the SUV will remain faithful to Bentley design DNA, craftsmanship, and be the most luxurious and most powerful SUV in the market.

Bentley EXP 9F interior

“This is excellent news for Bentley and for the UK,” said Bentley chairman and chief executive, Dr Wolfgang Schreiber. “Bentley is increasingly successful and this new fourth model line will leverage the success of the global SUV market.

“The support of everyone involved with the Company has been fundamental to this decision, which will ensure sustainable growth for the company.”

The SUV will join a Bentley range that currently comprises the Continental GT coupe, GTC convertible, Flying spur sedan and Mulsanne limo.