Bentley has received Volkswagen’s blessing to produce its first SUV. The green light from its corporate overlords in Wolfsburg means that Bentley will start selling the first SUVs built in England by 2016. We’re not sure the announcement will go down well in purist circles.
First of all Bentley is supposed to be a sporty but conservative British marque and many believe it shouldn’t dabble in SUVs to begin with. Secondly, Bentley’s Falcon SUV concept is hideous, as anyone blessed with eyesight can see.
To be fair, Bentley’s market is changing. It is no longer selling cars to fox-hunting gentlemen – it is now catering to Russian oligarchs and sheikhs, the sort of people who find gold and silver plated bathrooms understated and boring.
Although classic Bentley fans will hate it, the SUV might be a huge success. Volkswagen already has plenty of off-the-shelf components that could end up in Bentley’s tacky monstrosity. It also knows a thing or two about selling oversized SUVs, like the Audi Q7, Volkswagen Tuareg and Porsche Cayenne.
In fact, Porsche practically doubled its sales following the introduction of the Cayenne, which was met with similar criticism when it launched. The voice of Porsche purists was muffled by people with more money than sense, hence the Cayenne quickly became the preferred company car for Balkanese drug lords.
Now it’s Bentley’s turn.