If you have to roll in road-hogging Bentley style, then twelve-cylinder motivation is the only thing that makes sense. After all, the glitterati who spring for the upcoming SUV from Bentley will demand nothing less.
The engine will most likely be an upgraded W12 from the Continental GT, though the SUV is being engineered to fit a V-12 as well. But this engine has a twist: It will be a 6.0-liter TDI diesel V-12, pumping out 493 horsepower and an orbit-resetting 740 lb-ft of torque, as found in the top-of-the-line Audi Q7.
“I like this idea, it makes clear whose car is the boss,” said Bentley CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer, who also said that 99-percent of Bentley owners also own an SUV, especially a Range Rover or Porsche’s Cayenne—the latter of which keeps it in the extended Volkswagen family, which includes Porsche and Bentley. Bentley’s chief engineer Rolf Frech worked on the Cayenne, from which the Bentley SUV will be derived. The Bentley SUV is expected to debut in 2015.
An Audi-engined diesel Bentley SUV based on a Porsche? What else do you get for the money? Well, hand-crafted interior trimmings, for one. And the reassuring fact that conspicuous consumption doesn’t come cheap.