Wolfgang Durheimer’s first tenure as CEO of Bentley and Bugatti gave rise to discussions of a possible Bentley SUV. Now that he’s back with the luxury automaker after a stint as the research and development head of Audi , Durheimer is once again thinking brand expansion for Bentley. The first model on his list? The long-awaited Bentley SUV .
Automobile Mag is reporting that Bentley plans to build at least 3,000 units of the new SUV in 2016. The model, tentatively called the Falcon, is poised to have a shared platform with the next Porsche Cayenne . Meanwhile, the body of the SUV will come from Volkswagen , with assembly happening in the UK. The SUV is also reportedly set to get different engine options, including a 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V-8 that will combine with a plug-in hybrid system to produce 500 horsepower and deliver a 30-mile, electric-only range. Also on the docket is a turbo-diesel variant that has 408 horsepower. A 6.0-liter, W-12 engine with a 48-volt electrical system is also reportedly being planned, as well as a 5.0-liter, V-10 turbo-diesel that churns out 544 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque.
As far as the design of the SUV goes, Durheimer (thankfully!) said that it won’t be similar to the much-maligned EXP 9 F Concept that the company showcased at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show . According to the CEO, the production version of the SUV will have a different front and rear section, although the company will retain the “rear haunch line, the classic grille, the Bentley headlamp theme, and the proportions.”
Click past the jump to read more about the Bentley SUV.