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Bentley Buyers Can Get Ready for Their SUV

This Bentley SUV concept vehicle was shown in Geneva last year.

SAN DIEGO ( TheStreet) -- The luxury SUV market is about to get a little more crowded and a little bit pricier.

Bentley is developing a sport utility vehicle that some industry insiders predict may be the most expensive in the world.

The company said in a press release that it plans to invest about 800 million British pounds, or $1.2 billion, over the next three years developing the SUV and on building a headquarters in the United Kingdom where the vehicle will be made.

Production of the SUV will create about 1,000 jobs in Crewe, England, according to the release. The expected price of the vehicle was not disclosed, and final design details also remain under wraps. The July release merely said that the SUV will adhere to Bentley brand hallmarks of luxury, performance, quality and craftsmanship.

"We're certainly looking to develop the best, most luxurious SUV on the market," Bentley's Mike Sayer, a product PR manager, said during a recent telephone interview. "And that will command a certain price point, so it may end up being the most expensive, but that's not the target."

The price of the SUV will reflect what the car is made of and how the car feels, Sayer says.

Bentley unveiled a concept version of the SUV at last year's Geneva Motor Show.

Auto industry analysts who attended the show say the exterior of the concept vehicle, which was called the Bentley EXP 9 F, was not well received, but the interior was crafted with Bentley's typical luxury and high style.

"The concept was overstated," says Marty Padgett, editorial director of High Gear Media. "The exterior design was a little bit too much."

"It was a cool vehicle, but clearly pushed the limits more than you will ever see in production. The production version will be tamer, but stately," Padgett adds. "The interior was fantastic. It had gorgeous upholstery, a picnic basket with its own champagne flutes in the cargo area. Hand-stitched leather, chrome and polished aluminum surfaces and an LCD display instead of typical dials."
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