Bentley may take on Tesla with an electric SUV

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Bentley Bentayga.
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Bentley

Bentley might make an electric SUV in the future.

Bentley certainly plans on adding a small SUV to its lineup and is toying with the idea of making it all-electric, Automotive News first reported.

Bentley CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer said at the company’s Continental Supersports launch that Bentley will not stay with one model in its SUV lineup going forward. “We have clear indications that a smaller Bentayga as a Bentley SUV would find great acceptance,” he said, according to Automotive News.

In order to expand its market share, Bentley is considering making the small SUV all-electric, Rolf Frech, Bentley’s board member for engineering, said at the press event.

“If you are looking for such a car [small SUV] then we are looking to that in combination with the possibilities to go full electric,” Frech said, according to Automotive News. “It only makes sense if you get really new customers into the brand.”

Last year, Bentley committed to releasing a hybrid Bentayga in 2017, according to the Drive. At the time, Frech said it was likely Bentley’s Speed 6 concept car would be the company’s first fully electric vehicle, but that Bentley hadn’t figured out the precise direction it wanted to go in yet.

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Bentley Speed 6 concept car.
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Newspress

It’s possible Bentley is changing course at a time when demand is rising for SUVs. If Bentley were to release an all-electric SUV crossover, it would place the automaker in square competition with Tesla.

Tesla currently sells its Model X SUV and has plans to release a compact SUV, the Model Y, at some point in the future.

Bentley is owned by Volkswagen, which plans to release more than 30 electric or hybrid vehicles by 2025, and to sell at least 2 million of them a year, in the wake of its emissions scandal.