Well, it’s getting closer and will be in a street near you real soon! Which will be nice.
We’re already well versed with Bentley’s forthcoming SUV thanks to a barrage of teaser images and videos, but for the first time we’ve spied the luxury SUV testing in its own production body. The spy images reveal the showroom model will distance itself by some margin over the EXP 9 concept that previewed it back in 2012.
In comparison to the concept we can see the general shape and structure of the SUV will remain intact but a Continental GT face has been crafted onto the front end. Look closely at the images and you’ll see Bentley has added some rather bulbous cladding over the front and rear wheel arches in an attempt to hide its more curvaceous styling. The concept shown in Geneva in 2012 was designed with a boxier stance, featuring squared off panels and a more rigid front end.
Viewed in profile and from the rear there is more of a resemblance towards the concept than there is round the front. The steeply raked rear windscreen and two oval exhausts give a more athletic look, while the number plate and rear lamp positioning seems unchanged from the concept.
Not only is the nameless 4×4 the first SUV from Bentley it will also be the first model from the marque to feature a petrol-electric powertrain. The engine fitted beneath this particular test mule is the familiar 6.0-litre W12 engine but it’s expected the brand will also offer the more frugal 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, too.
When launched in 2016 the Bentley SUV will cost in excess of £140,000 with prices likely to rise over £200,000 for the range topping models. Even before its official reveal the popularity of the SUV is evident, with Bentley already raking up over 2,000 pre-orders. Although Bentley may initially have the luxury SUV market to itself, shortly after its launch Rolls Royce is expected to show its hand with its yet to be named SUV.