Frankfurt 2013 : Bentley confirms UK production for SUV

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

The_Bentley_EXP_9_F_SUV_Concept_Bentley_Motors_33247

Bentley could use a diesel engine for the first time in its history in the SUV which was recently confirmed for production – but will not try to challenge Range Rover for ultimate luxury off-road prowess.

‘We will investigate a diesel engine,’ CEO Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber confirmed at Frankfurt. ‘In that platform (the Bentley will share its underpinnings with the Porsche Cayenne, Audi Q7 and VW Touareg) a diesel engine will be implemented, anyway, so it could make sense. The numbers in Europe could be very high.’

Bentley is forecasting global sales of around 3000 a year for its first SUV, although Schreiber believes this could be an under-estimate.

‘It has a completely new interior and exterior to the concept car you saw at Geneva in 2012,’ he said. ‘We will not be fighting against anybody else in the market. We want to launch the first real luxury SUV and think there is space in the market for us.’

Schreiber said the Bentley will have permanent four-wheel drive and more off-road capability than any of its current cars, but will not compete with the Range Rover. ‘It will not be a real hard off-roader. But many Bentley owners have a horse or a big boat, so it will have the best towing capacity. This will be the first Bentley with a tow hook.’ A spacious boot with good access and special pull-out features are also likely to feature on the car, he hinted.

The Bentley SUV is to be built at the company’s Crewe home rather than in Bratislava alongside the Cayenne, Q7 and Touareg. It is a real feather in the cap for the Crewe workforce.

‘We really had to fight to get the car to Crewe,’ admitted Schreiber. ‘There were two major aspects which convinced the [VW Group] board members. The first was that Crewe is the place for Britishness and Bentleyness and craftsmanship. The other is that Crewe and the UK became more competitive compared to the other options. It all came together.’

Bentley EXP 9 F (6)

Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

9 Comments

  1. @1 Yes I agree, fantastic news VW group do seemingly understand Bentleys need to be made in the UK to be credible but they really need to look at the design of this ugly duck. I hope its better in the flesh or they remodel it. It looks so old, outdated and clumsy. Having said that at least it looks better than the Porsche and a little more creative than the Touareg.

  2. @4 Looks like there’s no holes so no brake dust, or brake cooling either….. Wonder where they’ll package the spare wheel…

  3. It might be assembled at Crewe, and all the wood and leather done there, but I wonder how much will be imported from the Bratislava factory?

  4. God Richard is right, the Maxi window line.

    If that is the finished article, it is really ugly looking.

    Good news for the workers,which is all i care about,sure to be good news for the parent company as UK PLC is only a soundbyte.

    Media+VAG/BMW/MB =German car loving drones.

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