“Wait, didn’t that headline read ‘Bentley’?” Yes, it sure did. At first glance, this is just an Audi Q7 mule out for testing somewhere in England. Look closer though, and a few things start to look suspicious. First up are those UK plates. Audi is German, but Bentley hails from the land of tea and crumpets. Those fenders are also looking quite wide compared to a standard Q7. Perhaps this is just a clever disguise by the Volkswagen Group to hide Bentley’s first-ever SUV .
Diving into the details of the pictures reveals larger air intakes below the headlights. Also expanded are those fenders that cover a larger and wider wheel and tire package. Why have larger air intakes and wheels? At the mule-testing stage, it isn’t a design feature but a mechanical one. A premium Bentley will require the biggest and best brakes to slow the roll from a massive engine not normally found in the Q7’s engine bay.
This isn’t the first time we’ve suggested VW Group might be putting the 6.0-liter, W-12 engine into the Bentley off-roader. Remember, that engine is twin-turbocharged, and large intercoolers will be needed to keep temperatures in check.
However, this is basically an educated guess as to what Audi/Bentley/VW Group is up to. Stay tuned to TopSpeed for any further developments.
Click past the jump to read more about the future Bentley SUV.
Why It Matters
If this is truly a Bentley in disguise, it’s the first SUV the British company will have ever built. Bentley’s history of building the finest in über luxury vehicles has been long-standing, so a lot of company (and national) pride is riding on the success of the upcoming product. It may turn out like the Cayenne has for Porsche or flop like the LM002 did for Lamborghini. Only time will tell.