2016 Bentley Falcon SUV Specs and Release Date

Bentley has officially confirmed that its new SUV lineup called 2016 Bentley Falcon SUV is ready for production in 2016. The production of the SUV will take place in company’s factory in Crewe, UK. The Falcon nameplate itself is not official yet, it’s a codename used by brand’s internal, but who knows that the name is going to be official.

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Bentley expects to sell about 3,000 units of the SUV annually, so the model will be key to the brand’s goal of boosting annual sales to 15,000 by 2018 from last year’s record volume of 10,120. Now, with a 37-percent increase in sales in 2011 (to 7,003 vehicles sold), Bentley is looking to double this number by the time this new SUV, rumored to have the name “Falcon” — comes out by making it “the world’s most luxurious 4×4” SUV and targeting growing SUV markets like the U.S. and China.

The news comes as part of Bentley’s announcement that corporate parent Volkswagen AG will invest over $1.2 billion into both updating the luxury brand’s manufacturing base in Crewe, England, and developing three new models. The Bentley SUV is one of those three models, and will be built alongside the Mulsanne and Continental ranges at Crewe. That seems like a given, but reports suggest Volkswagen’s plant in Bratislava, Slovakia – the same factory that builds the Touareg and Audi Q7 – was also once under consideration.

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Bentley isn’t disclosing much else about the SUV on the record, saying only the SUV “will be a thoroughbred Bentley” with styling that will “set it apart from any other SUV on the road.” Thanks to the legwork of Automobile’s European bureau chief Georg Kacher, we know quite a bit about the Bentley SUV.

Although its architecture is derived from the next-generation Volkswagen Touareg and Porsche Cayenne SUVs, its long-wheelbase platform – codenamed PL73 – is shared only with the next Audi Q7, along with a new coupe-like Q8 crossover.

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The Bentley EXP 9 F concept, unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, was intended to serve as a thinly-veiled preview of the production Falcon SUV, but negative public and critical reaction to the concept’s exterior styling allegedly forced Bentley back to the drawing board.

“I don’t think you should worry about the front of the car or any other design details,” Bentley designer Darren Day told us in April of last year. “I know that, once we go into production, this car will be a fabulous vehicle. We will listen to our customers and to the media and the design will be inherently Bentley.”

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Bentley received many of its customers advises, they want some visual changes in Bentley’s SUV lineup. Despite former VW design director Luc Donckerwolke moving to Bentley design and the SUV project, Kacher’s latest report indicates a mild redesign was so well received at a customer clinic session, an attempt at a complete redesign was nixed. The line drawing teaser image issued today looks much like the EXP 9 F, albeit with a little more curvature to the D-pillars.

Powertrain

The Falcon SUV will come with two engine options. A 540-hp V-8 – likely derived from the twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 used in the Continental GT/GTC V8 models – will likely serve as the base engine, while the monstrous 600-hp twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W-12 shown in the concept will be offered as an uplevel option. Although Rolf Frech, Bentley’s chief engineer, once told us the firm was working on diesel and plug-in hybrid options, Kacher’s latest report indicates both powertrains appear to be shelved for the time being.

Pricing and Release Date

The 2016 Bentley Falcon SUV will go on sale sometime in 2015 as 2016 model year. As for pricing and production volume, we still haven’t heard anything from Bentley. But, the “luxurious” title embedded in it will significantly affect its pricing. Rumors said that the pricing will start from $271,000.

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