Bentley Motors is the latest ultra-luxury automaker to announce it will produce an SUV.
Bentley had unveiled an SUV concept vehicle, the EXP 9 F, at the Geneva Motor Show in March of last year and, on Tuesday, announced plans to put the vehicle, or one like it, into production. The name of the final production SUV has not been announced.
Bentley's sister-comany, Lamborghini -- both are owned by Germany's Volkswagen Group -- has already announced plans to produce its own high-performance crossover SUV, the Lamborghini Urus. That vehicle will go into production in 2017, later than Bentley's, which is expected to go into production in 2016.
Italy's Maserati has also announced plans to produce an SUV. The Maserati SUV is expected share much of its engineering with the Jeep Grand Cherokee and, like other Maserati models, will have an engine manufactured by Ferrari. Maserati, Jeep and Ferrari are all wholly or mostly owned by Italy's Fiat Group.
Bentley cited "extremely positive" response among potential customers to the concept SUV. The vehicle will be built at Bentley's factory in Crewe, England. The SUV will add 1,000 jobs in England, Bentley said, and the automaker will invest £800 million -- approximately $1.2 billion -- in its British headquarters.
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Bentley promises that its SUV will be the most powerful on the market. It will also have "true Bentley design DNA," the automaker said. Pricing for the vehicle has not yet been announced.
The SUV will become Benley's fourth model line after the Mulsanne and Flying Spur four-door sedans and the two-door Continental GT models.