Bentley Bentayga SUV to come in hybrid, diesel variants in 2017

The Bentley Bentayga SUV will add plug-in hybrid and diesel variants in 2017, a year after the W12-powered model launches around the world.

The hybrid variant will be able to travel about 31 miles on electricity. It will have a V6 or V8 gasoline engine to extend range, though a final decision has not been made as to which one will be used, CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer said. The diesel, a V8, will be the first in a Bentley.

The company confirmed " Bentayga" as the name of its new SUV at the Detroit Auto Show. Speaking to Autoblog on the show floor, Dürheimer said the British luxury maker has high ambitions for its upcoming model. It expects to sell 3,500 copies of the SUV globally in 2016, which would lift the company's total sales to around 15,000. About a quarter of the Bentayga's sales volume is projected to come from US customers.

Bentley can't take orders because the vehicle hasn't been officially priced yet, but it already has a list of 4,000 customers who are interested in buying the SUV, and most have put down deposits.

"Our customers liked the idea," Dürheimer said. "We see a growing SUV market share around the world."

The Bentayga has changed since the concept, called the EXP 9 F, debuted at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, and the front has been modified to look more like Bentley's production models. The interior, however, remains close to the original concept.

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