During last one decade, we couldn’t ignore two things. SUVs and Google! They suddenly take a part in our lives whilst we are not aware of their existence. Google started as a basic search engine web site with a plain design. As the years have passed, they developed more and more and more. Finally, end up with taking your home’s photo and publishing on Google Earth.
SUVs are the same, it started with a plain design of Mercedes M-Class and chased by Dinosaurs in Jurassic Park! After this traumatic event, SUVs started to chase us in everywhere. Nearly, each manufacturer thought about an SUV model inside their model range. “It would not be a bad idea to offer an SUV, everyone likes it”. Even the Dacia’s ultra-cheap SUV received a respectful demand from all around the world. I am not saying the demand to BMW X Series, Mercedes ML, Range Rover, Porsche Cayenne, Audi Q7 and the others.
As the SUV became so addicted to automotive industry and impossible to take out from the market. Some manufacturers started to think about their own interpretation of SUV. I mean the Bentley Motors. If you don’t know let me tell you, Bentley is owned by Volkswagen and Continental family shares many parts with VW Phaëton. Anyway, Bentley received unexpected demand around the world since it was reveal on 2004. It was offering everything; powerful engine, luxury, four-wheel drive, exquisite design. But, it is not an SUV, that’s the minor problem. People want to have a luxury SUV not a four-wheel passenger car.
If you want to buy a luxury SUV, the alternative is extremely clear; Range Rover. That’s the best luxury SUV on planet. Unfortunately, rest of the competitors are imitating Range Rover’ style but it is not working that well. Ask anyone for the ultimate luxury SUV, they will say Range Rover. From this basic scientific research, we can assume that; there is a great market for luxury SUVs.
Let’s go back to Bentley HQ; most probably they received some reports from Germany for a potential SUV model. It will be explaining how great it would be to have SUV under the Bentley brand and how we can make money from this. Honestly, this is totally right. People would definitely buy a Bentley Continental SUV. Because, it is an SUV and it is a Bentley!
So, the problem is production; and it is easy also. Audi Q7 has meaningless big and long chassis for and Audi but it would be a great match for Bentley. Just change the exterior design and use the chassis. The interior will be same with Continental FlyingSpur, so there is nothing to worry. The drive train would be the same with Q7 but they should have low range gearbox (take from VW Touareg) and a better off road capability than the Q7. It will be expensive and try to compete with Range Rover. Therefore, it should offer state of art off road capabilities. And customer will be expecting to see something similar to Range Rover, even though they would never ever use on off road.
Basically, in next five year I am expecting to see a Bentley Continental SUV based Audi Q7 chassis, using VW Touareg’s off road gearbox and interior from FlyingSpur. They only need to design exterior and do the necessary long term testing, which they would be doing at the moment. There were some rumours about this and Bentley denied the SUV. Let’s make a flash back to year 2001, Porsche mentioned, “we will never use a diesel engine” but they are using now. So, it won’t be a surprise to see one.
Land Rover, Bentley, Audi