Build an SUV, watch sales and profits go through the roof. Sounds like a really basic plan, doesn’t it? But according to the luxury brands at the Volkswagen Group, that seems to be just the formula for sales success. Porsche horrified purists with the Cayenne, but it has become the brand’s best-selling model.
Now two exotic SUVs are scheduled to arrive at Bentley and Lamborghini. Bentley was the first out of the gate with the EXP 9 F Concept, followed by Lamborghini with the Urus Concept in Beijing. The two will share underpinnings with the Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg. New numbers from Bentley have been released that project similar sales figures of 3,000 units per year for each of the SUVs.
The profits from this program will be enormous, given that all these high-margin vehicles will be concentrated on one platform. 3,000 units means the EXP 9 F will finally help Bentley reach its goal of 10,000 units a year. They are currently hovering at around 7,000, thanks to the success of the Continental and Mulsanne lineups. Bentley has just released powertrain details of the future SUV, as well as new photographs. Unfortunately it doesn’t look any better; yet (a redesign is said to be coming).
Under the hood Bentley will offer a choice of three powertrain combinations. The top-shelf model will pack a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W-12 making 600 horsepower. Slotting in below is the VW Group’s impressive twin-turbo 4.0L V-8 making 500 hp. If we were the betting type, we’d put our money on the V-8 for sales leader. The third option is a plug-in hybrid, mated to a V-6. This combination would offer a 0-62 mph time of under five seconds, while including about 18.6 miles of pure electric range. These numbers are expected to change very little ahead of the EXP 9 F’s production launch in 2015. All is well under the hood. Now Bentley just needs to get to work on that front end….