Bentley plans 3,000 crossovers a year; Rolls weighs entering the segment

Bentley showed the EXP 9 F concept in Geneva but the production version will look different.
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Bentley plans to build about 3,000 units annually of the still unnamed crossover that it will launch in 2016, and the United States will get about 30 percent of production, said Wolfgang Schreiber, CEO of Bentley Motors.

Pricing will start at $190,000 and a hybrid will be offered in 2017, he said.

The crossover looks nothing like the EXP 9 F concept that debuted in March 2012 at the Geneva auto show, Schreiber said. Although that concept was widely criticized, about 2,000 hand-raisers said they wanted to buy a production version, he said.

The production vehicle will be less boxy than the concept and will take styling cues from Bentley's passenger cars — strong feature lines over the rear wheel and a sharp roofline angle, he said.

Lamborghini is considering a crossover that would share a platform with Bentley and Audi. Meanwhile, Rolls-Royce may enter the segment, CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes said.

But he added: "There is no rush. We would only decide to go that route if we are 100 percent con-vinced that it fits the brand and it is an authentic product."

He said the project isn't far enough along to consider showing a concept version.

Earlier, Rolls-Royce executives said an SUV or crossover would not fit the brand's image.

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