The legendary Ettore Bugatti once famously (and derisively) referred to Bentley cars as "the world's fastest lorries" – the British term for heavy trucks. Fast-forward a few decades and Ettore's proclamation is edging toward the truth, as the British brand is rumored to be launching its first-ever SUV – at least in conceptual form – at next week's Geneva Motor Show.

The model – which would expand the Bentley range from two models to three – is earmarked by Bentley/Bugatti Chief Exec Wolfgang Dürheimer (pictured at left with his predecessor, Dr. Franz-Josef Paefgen) to account for some 3,500 to 5,000 units annually, or a total of about 25,000 units in the vehicle's lifecycle. But the SUV from Crewe isn't just about expanding sales figures, it's also about innovation, as the model is rumored to incorporate what would not only be the company's first hybrid propulsion system, but a plug-in one at that, relegating the engine (which you can bet will still be Bentley big) to also-ran status.

We're eagerly anticipating the results when we get to the Geneva Palexpo, but while the show car is expected to be a concept still several years away from production, one thing's for sure: Bentley won't be alone in jumping from high-end cars to SUVs. It's a path forged by its sister company Porsche (where Dürheimer long served as a senior executive) with the Cayenne, set to be followed by sister marque Lamborghini with a concept car at the Beijing Auto Show in April (not to mention its original SUV, the LM002), and currently being pursued by rival Maserati with the Kubang now being groomed for production.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      Nick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Let me guess, it'll have a 6L V12 with 600hp and a 100hp electric motor?
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nick
        Hand one to Justin Bieber so he can be an environmentalist.
          marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          @2 Wheeled Menace Boy the picture of Justin Bieber really got to you, didn't it? Um...this not some kind of...I mean..your not turning....er...whateever, I'm sure you'll work it out in time, probably just a phase .......;)
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          Very funny marco ;p
          marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @2 Wheeled Menace
          @2 Wheeled Menace Sorry, 2WM, but it was irresistible! I'll admit Justin Beiber isn't my kind music either. However, if he can make something about 'greener cars' cool, and fashionable, this impression will be important with his fans! Remember, these (Gawd, help us), in a few short years, these are the mothers of the next generation! The values and attitudes they pass to their children are being formed as we speak. (pauses for thought, breaks down sobbing at the hopelessness of it all!)
      Mladen Kalinic
      • 2 Years Ago
      LOl yeah because ones who care to spend £150k on a car really care about MPG or the environment
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mladen Kalinic
        not all rich people are douches. but granted, Bentley buyers probably are : )
          marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dan Frederiksen
          @DF Odd thing about the Bentley, when the coupe was first released, I thought wow, what a beautifully styled car. But only a short time later it looks very dated, bulky and lacking in elegance. More reminiscent of a 1980''s design than 2000. JMO
        marcopolo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mladen Kalinic
        @Mladen Kalinic You would be surprised how many affluent people spend a lot of money on being environmentally aware. Liberty EV's sell a significant number of fully electric Range Rovers. (£120k). Most of these affluent land owners are very conscious of the problems created by pollution.
        Nick
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mladen Kalinic
        Mladen Kalinic How many times do we need to hear this idiotic, baseless argument? I could afford a $200k car AND I greatly care about the environment. Please STFU and go away.
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