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Bentley Considers Second SUV to Slot Below Full-Size Offering

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 1/7/2015 Kelly Pleskot
Bentley SUV Prototype Front Three Quarter View 4© Provided by MotorTrend Bentley SUV Prototype Front Three Quarter View 4

Although Bentley hasn't yet named the full-size SUV it plans to reveal this year, it is already eyeing a second SUV offering.

Bentley Considers Second SUV to Slot Below Full-Size Offering

According to Autocar, Bentley could produce a smaller SUV to capitalize on the growing SUV marketplace, which CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer said is "expanding three times faster than the market as a whole." The company has already received 4000 serious "expressions of interest" in its full-size SUV, higher than early predictions that the model would sell 3000 units a year.

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When it comes to a smaller SUV, Dürheimer said, "There are other SUVs on the market that show the potential in that area. This derivative is definitely one of the ideas we have, but our store of ideas gets bigger and bigger." If the small SUV does come to fruition, it could compete more directly against the midsize Maserati Levante, which is rumored to offer a standard 3.0-liter V-6 powertrain.

Bentley's global production ambitions are also expanding rapidly. Bentley's sales are up for the fifth year in a row, topping 11,020 cars last year, but the company wants more. By 2020, Bentley plans on building 20,000 cars a year at its Crewe factory in England. To accomplish this goal, Bentley will add 300 jobs and build a new R&D wing.

In the meantime, Bentley is wrapping up final testing for its large SUV. This model will offer W-12 and V-8 powertrains, as well as a plug-in hybrid option that could travel 30 miles on pure electricity.

Source: Autocar

Prototype of Bentley's large SUV pictured above and in the gallery below.

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