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Detroit show: Bentley dubs first SUV Bentayga

Mountain high: While Bentley’s first SUV has yet to be unveiled, the company's boss Wolfgang Dürheimer has revealed it will be called the Bentayga after a mountain peak in Spain’s Gran Canaria island.

Bentley announces Bentayga nameplate for its first ever SUV

Bentley logo13 Jan 2015

By RICHARD BERRY

BENTLEY’s first-ever SUV will be called the Bentayga and will be revealed later this year, the uber-luxury marque’s boss announced at the Detroit motor show this week.

The German-owned British company said the name was inspired by the natural world with the Northern Hemisphere’s Taiga – the planet’s largest transcontinental snow forest and the Roque Bentayga, which is a mountain peak on Spain’s Gran Canaria island.

Speaking at a press conference at the North American auto show this week, Bentley Motors chairman and CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer said the name suits a vehicle it considers the pinnacle of automobiles.

“Bentayga is a name that reflects what we know our SUV will do better than any other car in the world – combine the best automotive luxury with outstanding performance to take the Bentley experience to new environments,” he said.

“It will be the fastest, it will be the most luxurious and it will be the most exclusive SUV in the world. In other words, it’s going to be the Bentley of SUVs.

“It’s already conquered some of the most challenging terrains and climates in the world during its current engineering development program and to ensure it offers authentic all-terrain capability we are testing this car to the extreme.”

While the Bentayga was not revealed in Detroit, a video was screened of the heavily camouflaged SUV climbing the Big Red sand dune in Dubai. A close-cropped press image showing B-shaped lower front air intakes was also released.

No engineering details have been announced but the SUV is expected to launch with three variants – Bentley’s 373kW/660Nm twin-turbo V8, a 447/800Nm W12 and a V6 plug-in hybrid.

With parent company Volkswagen’s MLB architecture believed to be providing the Bentayga’s underpinnings, the SUV should also benefit from Porsche’s four-wheel drive technology.

The car will be unveiled later this year and is to go on sale in 2016 with the United States, Europe and China likely to be the first to receive the vehicle.

GoAuto has contacted Bentley regarding the timing of the Bentayga’s arrival in Australia.

The Range Rover rival will be built at Bentley’s Crewe plant in the United Kingdom. It was given the green light for production in 2013 following the announcement of an £800 million ($A1.5 billion) investment in Bentley’s headquarters and future model program.

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