Bentley Bentayga, the company’s first foray into the lucrative SUV niche, has been spied again, now in its final testing phase. Mercedes-Maybach’s answer isn’t far away.
The upcoming 4×4 will be revealed this Autumn and will go on sale next year. The model’s unusual badge draws its inspiration from a mountain landscape on Gran Canaria in the Atlantic, Roque Bentayga.
Bentley first-ever production SUV will be available in V8, W12 and plug-in hybrid guises. The W12 powered Bentley Bentayga is expected to reach a maximum speed in excess of 300 km/h, claiming the title of fastest SUV in the world. Meanwhile, the hybrid will try to win Greenpeace fans’ hearts with a maximum autonomy of 30 miles on battery power alone.
The Bentayga is expected to become Bentley’s best-selling model, performing strongly in markets like China and the US, where the SUV segment is already expanding three times faster than the market as a whole. According to Bentley chairman and CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer, annual sales predictions for the ultra-luxury SUV will likely surpass the 3.000 units target set earlier in its development stages.
As expected, Mercedes already has in store its own answer to Bentley’s new-found SUV success. The new model, positioned as a direct rival for the Bentayga, is set to become the third member of the burgeoning Mercedes-Maybach Mercedes’ sub-brand. Based on Benz’s upcoming revised GLS off-roader, it will cater for hot 4x4s demand in markets like Asia or the Middle East.
The plan of adding an SUV spin-off to the Mercedes-Maybach line-up has already been confirmed by Mercedes’ own Martin Hulder, project manager for the revamped S-class range. “We will do more Maybach models, but it will not be for all vehicles. Any Maybach must make sense, because it is not just about putting an emblem on a car,” he revealed earlier this year.
Photo credits: AUTOMEDIA