Bentleys Bentayga outside the brands Crewe HQ

Bentley's Bentayga outside the brand's Crewe HQ

VW-owned Bentley Motors has handed over the first Bentayga models to customers at an exclusive event at the brand's headquarters in Crewe, UK.

The Bentayga is built in Crewe alongside the Continental GT, Flying Spur and Mulsanne.

Taking more than 130 hours to produce each car, guests at the event in Crewe were given privileged access to Bentley's factory to see the "skill and passion" involved in Bentayga's creation, with insight from key people involved in the car's design, engineering and craftsmanship.

Kevin Rose, Member of the Board for Sales, Marketing and Aftersales said: "This is an historic day for Bentley and it is a great testament to all the work which has gone in to producing Bentayga, the fastest and most luxurious SUV in the world.

"The customers joining us for the event have followed the Bentayga journey since we proposed the idea of a Bentley SUV, and were among the very first in the world to put their names down on the order book for First Edition cars – many before they had even seen the finished model. Today their confidence in Bentley is repaid as they take delivery of a car which has been unanimously praised by the world's media.

"I would also especially like to thank our 4,000-strong workforce in Crewe for their commitment in bringing Bentayga to life. Their passion, skill and dedication is a significant part of makes Bentley such an iconic and appealing brand right around the world."

Customer deliveries will commence in other regions around the world shortly.

The Bentayga large SUV uses the same basic architecture as the second generation Audi Q7. Bodies for the Bentayga are made alongside VW Group's other big SUVs at the Bratislava plant in Slovakia. Final assembly takes place in Crewe.

The SUV should help lift Bentley sales towards the division's goal of 15,000 units by 2018.

See also: VW Group's Bentley eyes new markets, sectors, body styles