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Bentley eyes an upper-crust SUV

Automotive News reports on Bentley's plants to market an SUV.

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Porsche pulled it off with the Cayenne; can an SUV work for Bentley? Bentley

Porsche purists howled 15 years ago when the sports car maker announced plans to build an SUV. But the Cayenne worked out pretty well, so Bentley traditionalists may be more tolerant now that the British brand is considering a similar move.

Sources tell Bloomberg that Bentley CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer--who, as Porsche's development chief, oversaw that company's push into SUVs--wants to build an off-road SUV and has discussed his plan with executives at parent Volkswagen.

"The traditional perception of brands--Bentley as the maker of large, luxurious sedans--is open to expansion," said Barclays Capital analyst Michael Tyndall. "There appear to be customers out there who are willing to spend that much on a luxury SUV."

Porsche, once known only for sports cars like the 911, now relies on the Cayenne for half its sales. Porsche will add a second SUV in 2013 while Jaguar Land Rover is mulling a crossover.

(Source: Automotive News)