LONDON -- Bentley is mulling a smaller version of its upcoming SUV to attract more women and younger buyers to the brand.
“A derivative of the SUV is one of the options we are considering,” Bentley CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer said at a press event here this week.
Bentley sales director Kevin Rose said a smaller SUV, if built, would target "urban buyers" but would still be “very competent off-road.”
The model could be “a kind of feeder market for Bentley,” he told Automotive News Europe.
The idea for a smaller SUV was partly inspired by Land Rover’s flagship Range Rover model and its smaller sister model, the bigger-selling Range Rover Sport, Rose said. “We are very interested in what Range Rover have done with the Sport. They have taken the SUV concept into new, interesting areas,” he added.
Bentley will unveil the larger SUV, its first such model, in production form later this year ahead of sales in 2016. A Geneva show debut in March is possible.
Bentley expects the vehicle to help almost double its annual vehicle sales to 20,000 by 2020.
Bentley’s global sales increased by 9 percent in 2014 to a record 11,020.
The upcoming large SUV will be powered by Bentley’s 12-cylinder gasoline engine, with a plug-in hybrid and a V-8 diesel coming later.
Duerheimer described the car’s level of luxury as “extraordinary” and said some versions would cost more than the company’s most expensive car, the Mulsanne sedan, which sells for 229,000 pounds (294,000 euros). However entry versions would be priced below that, he said.
In July last year Duerheimer said the company was planning a fifth model range, possibly a two-seat sports car using a front-engined platform from Porsche, a Volkswagen Group sibling brand.
He did not give any new details about the potential model at this week’s briefing except to say that “we will add more products to our lineup.”