Bentley, the ultra luxury car brand from the Volkswagen stable announced their plans to build a sports utility vehicle. This is the first time the brand would be doing so and go beyond their sedans and coupes. The expected cost of the planned SUV would be in the range of 180,000 euros or $237,000. The project is considered a positive for the British automobile industry as it will create 1,000 new jobs as the company plans to spend close to $1.23 billion on developing the SUV and will also upgrade its headquarters in Crewe, England in the process. The SUV is projected to hit the market in three years time in 2016. It would be the most luxurious and powerful SUV on the market and it is most likely to hold the title of the world’s most expensive SUV.
The New SUV is Expected to Double the Overall Sale of Bentley
The experts from the industry believe that the company is taking a calculated risk. According to Stefan Bratzel, director of the Center of Automotive Management, it is courageous step as the super luxury segment is very tight and they will face many challenges in establishing themselves. However, Volkswagen believes that the move to make SUVs will double Bentley’s sale to 15,000 vehicles. They had followed a similar strategy for Porsche and their Cayenne SUV has become the brand’s best seller. In fact they are now adding a compact SUV called the Macan by next year.
The SUV Will be Based on EXP9 F Presented at Geneva Last Year
Martin Winterkom, CEO of Volkswagen is sure of one thing that the SUV, like any other Bentley vehicle will be powerful, exclusive and successful. It will be developed on the prototype EXP9 F that Bentley had showcased at the Geneva Motor show in March 2012. Insiders associated with the project pointed out that the design has undergone some major changes since then. The concept prototype was highly appreciated particularly for its features like picnic hamper, 23inch wheels and gaping turbine like air intakes. Bentley has been improving its performance in recent years. Its sales grew 22% last year to reach 8,510 cars and the operating profit jumped sharply to 100 million Euros from barely eight the previous year. The SUV by Bentley will compete directly with Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG and the Range Rover from Tata Motors Ltd