Bentley's First SUV: Built In 1994 For A Sultan
Earlier today we (along with everyone else that’s on the Bentley newsletter mailing list) reported on Bentley’s plans to build an SUV, which will be ready for the 2016 model year. It will be the first ever mass-produced, in-house Bently SUV, but it will not be the first utility vehicle to wear the Flying ‘B.’ In 1994, the Bentley Dominator was unveiled, although merely as a concept. Built on a Range Rover chassis, it was never intended for production, but a famous car-collecting sultan stepped in and brought this vehicle to life.
The Sultan of Brunei is well known for not only collecting supercars, but also having ultra-rare exotics commissioned for production. Past orders have included Ferrari sedans, an Aston Martin that essentially doesn’t exist, and the large Bentley SUV that you see here.
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Six Bentley Dominators were built at the request of the Sultan. The total cost of the project amounted to roughly £3 million ($4.6 million) per vehicle, in 1994. The revenue generated from this order is rumored to have basically kept Bentley out of bankruptcy during this period. The project was unknown to the public until the UK’s Autocar snapped a photo of two Dominators being loaded into a jet on its way to Brunei.
So, now that you know– what would you rather see in a Bentley SUV? A new design (potentially influenced by the EXP 9 F) and potentially riding on an Audi Q7 chassis? Or a Range Rover with custom bodywork fit for a sultan? Tell us in the comments below.
Photos Sources: Autocar, Wikicars