Bentley has been working on its upcoming SUV in increasingly public places, and this time, our spy photographers have captured the beast nearly void of heavy camouflage. Sure, the cladding this still there, but we certainly have a better idea of what to expect.
The Bentley SUV was caught in Southern Europe apparently hot-weather testing under fully loaded conditions. Check out how low the SUV sits sunken down. Perhaps Bentley engineers are testing its brakes and cooling capabilities on that twisty European road. Or maybe the SUV is tucking those large rims, thanks to an air suspension system designed to make the top-heavy truck perform like a Continental GT .
While Bentley has announced it’s bringing an SUV to market, its name has yet made its debut. Most speculation centers on the name “Falcon,” but other possibilities exist. We do know the Bentley SUV will share its platform with the Audi Q7 , the new Volkswagen Touareg , and the next-generation Porsche Cayenne . Also for sure is Bentley’s goal of a 200-plus mph SUV.
Getting such a vehicle up to 200 mph will require plenty of grunt, meaning either a twin-turbocharged V-8 or a massive W-12 engine. It’s likely both will be offered, with the V-8 being the standard mill and the W-12 the costlier engine upgrade.
Click past the jump to read more about the future Bentley SUV.
There’s no mistaking this SUV for anything other than a Bentley. That massive grille and four round lights up front seal the deal, and the taillights also hold plenty of Bentley cues. Perhaps most interesting is the Audi , VW , and Porsche design cues seen in the Bentley’s side profile.
The sunken suspension is likely caused by an air suspension set to its sportiest ride height. The lowered center of gravity will surely pay dividends in the corners.
Why It Matters
There is zero room for doubt that Bentley is bringing an SUV to market. Add to these spy shots to Bentley’s website showcasing the curves of a “new model,” and things are looking pretty serious. We can expect this car to make production for the 2016 model year, and we’ll likely get an unadulterated look at the new Bentley sometime in the summer or Fall of 2015.
This marks an important step for Bentley. The company is looking to grow its target audience by offering less expensive, yet still utterly opulent, products while still maintaining its brand reputation. We can expect the Bentley SUV to cost roughly $220,000, making it the most expensive SUV on the market. Still, that price opens up the Bentley name to more folks than a $300,000 Mulsanne.