Seemingly unperturbed by Eterniti's efforts at a super-SUV, Bentley has decided to throw its hat into the 4x4 ring.

To differentiate it from your average premium off-roader, Bentley's wagon will be the first available with a 12-cylinder petrol engine.


The likely candidate to fill the engine bay is the 6.0-litre W12 unit found in the Continental GT, GTC and Flying Spur.

Well, an evolution of it at least – the SUV's take on it will hopefully be a little more eco-friendly than 17.1mpg combined and 384g/km CO2. Bentley can manage 20mpg and 300g/km in time for launch, surely?

In its current incarnation the W12 packs around 575bhp and 516lb/ft o' twist, which should be enough to get an SUV to 62mph from rest in less than five seconds.

However, there will be room in the engine bay for a V12 as well (not at the same time, mind). But it won't be a snarling 6.5-litre petrol lifted from a Lamborghini Aventador, it'll be the 6.0-litre V12 TDI unit found in the Audi Q7.

Perhaps the firm's gone all eco-conscious? Or maybe the W12 petrol will just prove too much for some drivers?

To get its SUV off the ground, Bentley has poached Porsche's Rolf Frech to be its chief engineer. One of his CV's highlights happens to be the Porsche Cayenne...

Entering a new segment is all well and good - Aston did it with the Cygnet - but why is Bentley choosing to enter one that remains so controversial?

A V8 SUV is largely pointless unless you live in a house that's only properly accessible via rocky path. In which case you want a Land Rover Defender, rather than something that'll cost a bomb to respray. Funnily enough Bentley's CEO, Wolfgang Dürheimer, has an answer: "Ninety-nine per cent of Bentley owners also own an SUV. I am absolutely sure the demand is there."

We can expect to see it in showrooms (and glacially trundling through London) in 2015.

Source: Autocar