- A Bentley SUV, set to do battle with the Porsche Cayenne, will go on sale in 2016.
- The first Bentley SUV will be built in Crewe, England and represents the luxury automaker's fourth model line.
- "It will be the most luxurious and most powerful SUV on the market," said Bentley.
CREWE, England — A Bentley SUV, set to do battle with the Porsche Cayenne, will go on sale in 2016, Bentley confirmed on Tuesday.
The first Bentley SUV will be built in Crewe, England and represents the luxury automaker's fourth model line.
"The styling will set it apart from any other SUV on the road and will be true to the Bentley design DNA," said Bentley in a statement. "It will be the most luxurious and most powerful SUV on the market."
The automaker cited "extremely positive customer response to an SUV by Bentley" as a key part of its decision to proceed with the luxury SUV.
Left unsaid at this point was the Bentley SUV's name, pricing and all technical specifications.
The British automaker released a sketch of the SUV, which looks a bit sleeker than the controversial Bentley EXP 9 F SUV concept that debuted at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show. At the time, Bentley described the SUV concept as a "Grand Touring Bentley" that borrowed styling cues from the Continental and the Mulsanne.
The concept is designed to accommodate a wide range of power plants, from a hybrid gas-electric drivetrain to a twin-turbo 600-horsepower 6.0-liter W12 with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Luxury automakers have been slow to follow Porsche's lead into the SUV market. Rolls-Royce told Edmunds earlier this year that, despite rumors, a Rolls-Royce SUV is not in the immediate product portfolio.
A Bentley SUV is also expected to take on the BMW X5 and Range Rover Sport. The Porsche Cayenne was introduced in 2002 and accounts for more than half of the automaker's global sales, according to industry reports.
Edmunds says: One key question is just how much the production Bentley SUV will deviate from the EXP 9 F in the looks department.