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2013-08-06 09:17

EPITOME OF A LUXURY SUV: Bentley's new SUV has been given the green light to be built in Crewe, England. It will cost about R2.2-million rand and come with a fancy picnic set. Image: Bentley

CREWE, England – Bentley has announced its new R2.2-million SUV  - complete with a full luxury picnic set - will be built in Britain and provide 1000 new jobs as part of a major investment boost equivalent to R12-billion for the UK.

The new jobs and cash boost means up to 4000 Bentley SUV units will be built in a year at its factory in Crewe, England, as the fourth model to roll off the line according to the Daily Mail.

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Bentley, owned by Germany’s Volkswagen Group, had considered assembling the giant 4X4 in the Slovakian capital of Bratislava in Eastern Europe but decided to keep operations based in home base - Crewe, in central England - which means the plate that's adorned Bentleys for generations - ‘Made in Crewe, England’ - will continue to resonate.
   
The DetNews said the new six-litre, 300km/h SUV will accelerate from 0-100km/h in less than four seconds and be in showrooms in 2016.

The car comes as a means to double sales to 15 000 a year by 2018. Sales figures were already up 22% in 2012 to 8510.

THOROUGHBRED BENTLEY

A Bentley spokesman said: “The sports utility vehicle will be a thoroughbred Bentley true to the brand hallmarks of luxury, performance, quality and craftsmanship. The styling will set it apart from any other SUV and will be true to the Bentley design DNA. It will be the most luxurious and most powerful SUV on the market.

"Customers' responses to a Bentley SUV have been extremely positive through the previous 16 months."

Had the decision gone the other way - to build the cars in Bratislava - it would have been the first mass-produced Bentley to be built outside of the UK in its near 100-year history - the company was founded in 1919. 

A significant facelift has been signed off since the concept version was displayed at the 2012 Geneva auto show was severely critised. Bosses admitted afterwards there had been “room for improvement”, according to the Daily Mail.

The new model is expected to share the face of the more familiar Bentley Continental and carry a full picnic set, complete with Champagne glasses.

More than 2000 pre-orders were placed even before the final styling was revealed.
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