Mike Stevens | Oct 11, 2011

Bentley boss Wolfgang Duerheimer has reportedly confirmed a W12 heart for the brand's upcoming SUV, despite recently playing down the idea of a 12-cylinder engine.

Speaking with press at the August's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, Duerheimer was coy about the the luxury SUV's powerplant, saying "not everyone needs to have a V12."

Out with the V12, in with an updated version of the company's W12 engine looks to be the new plan of attack, according to a new interview with Duerheimer this week.

Speaking with Britain's Autocar magazine, the outspoken German said that Bentley will be the first to use a 12-cylinder engine in a luxury SUV. "I like this idea; it makes clear whose car is the boss,” Duerheimer was quoted as saying.

He added that while he prefers "the packaging advantage" of the W12 engine, the SUV will likely be engineered to also accommodate a vee engine - paving the way for Audi's 6.0 litre V12 TDI diesel engine to appear in the future.

As for the big SUV's market appeal, Duerheimer made no bones about where he sees Bentley's SUV in the luxury pecking order.

“Absolutely thousands of premium SUVs have been sold, Cayennes, Range Rovers, Q7s and so on, but nobody has given those owners the chance to upgrade. We will.”

Duerheimer said we can expect to see the new model in time for the 2015 model year.

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