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Exclusive: Bentley considering diesel engine for new SUV

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Bentley EXP 9 F

Turns out, in case you didn’t know, the rich are just like regular people. They too are concerned about the environment, even when tooling around town in their super-luxurious Bentleys. So the automaker is weighing the idea of offering a diesel engine in its SUV offering, which could help satisfy customers’ demands for more fuel-efficient engines.

Chairman and CEO Wolfgang Schreiber told Autoblog in a roundtable interview at the Geneva Auto Show that the automaker is researching whether or not a diesel engine makes sense for the brand. Bentley, owned by the Volkswagen Group, could in theory use a diesel engine from anywhere in the Volkswagen Group family. We at Autoblog have hopes they’ll revive the V10 TDI used in the VW Touareg until 2010, but ever-stricter emissions laws would likely make that problematic.

But rich people aren’t so much like us that they’ll be worried about petty things like pricing. Schreiber admitted the diesel engine could be a $15,000 option, which he said customers would probably find “acceptable.” Given that the cheapest Bentley today starts at $177,000, typical customers probably won’t be diddling around worrying about an extra 15 grand.

Schreiber verified that the SUV, which was confirmed for production in January, will go on sale in 2017. The SUV, based on the EXP 9 F concept shown in Geneva in 2012, is being designed from the start to include a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Other Bentleys are expected to get the plug-in hybrid powertrain down the line, and the automaker is also considering another four-door sedan or a two-door coupe, but Schreiber said it’s too early to talk about what those vehicles may be. The automaker won’t follow Maserati’s lead and make something radically cheaper, like the Ghibli. “If you go too far away from where we are today, there is too much chance you could disappoint the current customer,” Schreiber said.

Bentley considering diesel engine for new SUV originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 05 Mar 2014 08:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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March 5th, 2014

What Are The Unpopular Cars You See Everywhere?

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What Are The Unpopular Cars You See Everywhere?

From what Nissan would like us to believe, the Altima Coupe will not be missed. It’s done after 2013, likely because no one bought it. Which is odd, because I keep seeing them everywhere.

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September 15th, 2013

Watch A Diesel Volkswagen SUV Obliterate A Chevy Truck In A Tug-Of-War

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Man, it’s been a rough couple of weeks for Chevy trucks. First one gets publicly humiliated by a Dodge truck in a tug-of-war that was probably allowed to go on too long, and now another one gets soundly trumped by some German engineering. More »


December 31st, 2012

Report: VW considering new midsize utility for NA; Polo and Up! still on table

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Jonathan Browning - Volkswagen NA CEOWe’ve already heard word that Volkswagen may be considering a new Alltrack version of its Jetta for the North American Market, but TheDetroitBureau.com reports the automaker is also looking at other high-riding options. Jonathan Browning, Volkswagen Group of America CEO, says a new mid-sized SUV may show up in the lineup alongside the next-generation Tiguan (which itself is likely to get a trio of variants). The unnamed model would fit below the Touareg in size and price and would likely be co-developed engineers in the U.S. and those in another part of the world. So, when can we expect to see the model? Development is currently in its earliest stages, which means we’ll have to wait until 2015 at the earliest.

Meanwhile, Browning makes it clear Volkswagen is also keen to flesh out its lineup with other new models, including a new mid-sized sedan. A sub-Golf offering may also show up from Europe, which means the automaker may bring over either the Polo or the new Up! micro car. The blossoming stable is part of an effort to keep the company’s recent sales growth on track. Volkswagen has made it clear the company wants to triple its companywide sales by 2018.

VW considering new midsize utility for NA; Polo and Up! still on table originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 01 Jun 2012 08:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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June 1st, 2012

Report: Bentley plotting Dakar effort with used VW Touareg racers?

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Bentley EXP 9 F

Bentley is an automaker not without its own racing pedigree, but the bulk of that is anchored in the 1920s and at Le Mans, to which it returned in winning form in the earlier part of the new millennium with the Speed 8. The latest development could, however, see the Flying B marque enter into another class of motorsport competition altogether.

That opposite end of the endurance racing spectrum is the torturous Dakar rally. We first published rumors of Crewe’s consideration of the possibility back in November, but according to CAR Magazine, those rumors are apparently kicking into high gear.

That much is owed largely to the emergence of the above-pictured EXP 9 F program, Bentley’s concept SUV currently under development. Well, sorta. Bentley’s parent company Volkswagen recently withdrew from the Dakar rally after winning it three times in a row – ostensibly to focus on its new World Rally Championship effort, but spurring rumors all the same of it transferring the team to another brand.

Given that the EXP 9 F is based (or would be, anyway) on an architecture related to the Touareg – the race model of which is what the VW team used to dominate the event – the facilitation of Bentley’s take-over of the program could prove even more straight-forward than the manner in which Audi successfully supported Bentley’s Le Mans team.

To wit, the boys from Crewe are said to be in the process of buying back all the Race Touareg rigs – complete with their 2.5-liter twin-turbo diesels producing 300 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque – that Volkswagen sold to privateer teams upon its departure, suggesting rather poor planning and perhaps only a passing resemblance to the eventual production EXP 9 F (which, incidentally, isn’t expected to look like the concept above).

Bentley plotting Dakar effort with used VW Touareg racers? originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 18 May 2012 11:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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May 18th, 2012

Official: VW Touareg TDI sets lonely record on World’s Longest Highway [w/video]

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Volkswagen Touareg on the Pan American Highway

Volkswagen can now lay claim to another world record thanks to the efforts of off-road driver Rainer Zietlow and his team of adventurers. The crew packed into a Volkswagen Touareg TDI and covered the entire span of the Pan-American Highway from start to finish in 11 days, 17 hours and 22 minutes. The trip covered 14 countries and 16,000 miles of near non-stop driving. TÜV NORD Mobility verified the time, which beat out the previous record holder by a full three days.

The journey began on July 2 in the southernmost portion of Argentina and clipped through a variety of challenging conditions. The team faced a sandstorm in Chile and treacherous muddy roads in Alaska, but preplanned fuel stops helped cut the team’s time down as much as possible.

Zietlow and his teammates also played a bit of a philanthropic role by donating 10 cents for every kilometer traveled to two Latin American villages to help combat childhood poverty. Hit the jump for the video and full press release.

Continue reading VW Touareg TDI sets lonely record on World’s Longest Highway [w/video]

VW Touareg TDI sets lonely record on World’s Longest Highway [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 20 Jul 2011 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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July 20th, 2011
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