Bentley's new engineering chief was instrumental in the production of the Cayenne SUV

Bentley's plans to launch a super-luxury SUV by 2014 have taken another major step forward with the Crewe firm's appointment of the man who oversaw the Porsche Cayenne and Panamera as its new engineering chief.

Rolf Frech, a former director for complete vehicle engineering and quality at Porsche, was confirmed today as Bentley's new board member for engineering. Frech – who succeeds Dr Ulrich Eichhorn – was instrumental in the expansion of Porsche’s line-up, including the Cayenne and Panamera models, projects new Bentley chairman and chief executive Wolfgang Dürheimer also worked on whilst still at Porsche.

Bentley’s SUV platform is still to be decided, but will likely be a version of VW’s MLB modular underpinning for in-line mounted engines.

Dürheimer said: “I am delighted to welcome Rolf Frech to the Bentley team. He brings with him a wealth of experience from Porsche, experience which will help us develop new generations of Bentleys which share the same commitment to performance, quality and engineering excellence.

“Having worked with him for 12 years I know he will be a real asset to the Company and provide technical leadership to our Design, Engineering and R&D operations.”

Frech commented: “I am excited about this new position. It will be my responsibility to develop new ideas and technologies which live up to the expectations of Bentley customers and the achievements of the past.”

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