Bentley has confirmed that it is to add a luxury SUV to its range.

The opulent off-roader will be the fourth model in the British marque’s line-up, sitting alongside the Continental GT coupe, and the Flying Spur and Mulsanne limousines.

The new 4×4 represents a significant investment for Bentley, which is sinking over £800 million into its Crewe headquarters. Production of the as yet unnamed SUV will also lead to the creation of 1000 jobs at the Cheshire site.

It will go on sale in 2016 and is expected to rival range-topping models of the Range Rover. As such, expect an entry price well over £100,000.

Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive, Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, said: “This is excellent news for Bentley and for the UK. Bentley is increasingly successful and this new fourth model line will leverage the success of the global SUV market. The support of everyone involved with the Company has been fundamental to this decision, which will ensure sustainable growth for the company.”

Despite being quite a way of from being a production reality, the Bentley SUV has already caused controversy, with the rather bloated concept version (pictured above) receiving a decidedly negative reaction amongst motoring fans upon its unveiling at the Geneva motor show in 2012.

Bentley has yet to confirm what the production SUV will look like, simply stating that it will be “true to the Bentley design DNA”. Given Bentley was rather taken by surprise by the criticism levelled at the concept, it is fair to say there is likely to be at least a little tweaking before the styling is signed off.

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