Bentley Teases New SUV, Anchors W12 Production in England
Styling Changed from EXP 9 Concept, Due in 2016
The latest chapter in a saga that officially started two years ago with the reveal of the Bentley EXP 9 SUV concept in Geneva now moves a step closer to reality, with the British luxury brand releasing a teaser frontal image of its forthcoming SUV busting through a sand cloud. Although few other details can be made out about the rest of the vehicle's styling, it's clear Bentley took criticism of the EXP 9 concept's front styling to heart. Gone are the single round headlamps of the concept, replaced with quad round lights, with the inboard lights being larger, and the outboard lights being smaller, likely serving as high beams or driving lights. This also brings the front styling of the vehicle more in line with the rest of the lineup, in which the quad round front lights have become a Bentley styling signature.
In addition to releasing the teaser of its new SUV, Bentley announced it is moving worldwide production of W12 engines for the Volkswagen Group to Crewe, headquarters for the Bentley brand. The W12 was previously built in Germany, with some production occurring in Crewe for Bentley models. This transfer of production could bring the W12 engine output capacity from Crewe up to 9000 units annually.
Although specific powertrains for the new SUV have not been announced, the W12 will undoubtedly be among the options. The company anticipates a minimal annual production volume of 3000 units a year for the SUV, which will go on sale sometime in 2016.