It’s been just a couple of days since Car & Driver revealed Bentley is pondering upon offering a brand-new model, and the British manufacturer has already confirmed a fifth vehicle will join its lineup by the end of the decade. However, it seems the said car won’t be an entry-level coupe, as suggested by the initial report, but one that will slot between the Continental GT and the Mulsanne as far as pricing goes. What’s more, Bentley is still undecided whether this new vehicle will be a two-seat sports car or a coupe .
Speaking to Auto Express, Bentley CEO Wolfgang Durheimer confirmed the rumor, but added that the company won’t make a decision until the Bentley Falcon SUV gets launched toward the end of 2015. "Our designers are extremely busy right now preparing designs for each of them and we are preparing business cases. We will make the decision when we have more information," he said.
A concept car for each idea is likely to hit auto shows by 2016, as Bentley will be looking to gather public reaction and assess potential profits each of the two might bring. The new model, which will be the fifth offering in the company’s lineup, won’t arrive until 2018, Auto Express adds. A decision as to the brand-new Bentley will be a sports car or a coupe will be made by mid 2016.
Click past the jump to read more about Bentley’s future models.
V-8 Power, Lower Weight
Be it a coupe or a sports car, the upcoming vehicle will be smaller and lighter than the Continental GT.
Although details surrounding this upcoming Bentley are virtually nonexistent, the company’s current strategy and lineup provides essential hints as to what’s on the drawing board. Be it a coupe or a sports car, the upcoming vehicle will be smaller and lighter than the Continental GT. With that in mind, it’s safe to assume Bentley will drop its proven, twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 into the engine bay. Output is likely to sit above the 500-horsepower mark and maybe go up to 600 ponies should the vehicle of choice be a two-seat sports car .
We expect curb weight to fall below 4,500 pounds, which would translate into a 0-to-60 sprint of around four seconds, maybe even less if the new member of the Bentley lineup turns out to be a sports car. Competitors would include the Porsche 911 and the Mercedes AMG GT for the latter. As far as pricing goes, we expect the upcoming vehicle to fetch anywhere between $220,000 and $280,000 before options.
Why It Matters
It’s been years since Bentley has had more than three models in its lineup. Now that the Falcon SUV is already underway, it’s only normal for the Brits to start thinking about expanding their lineup. Be it a coupe or a sports car, the new vehicle will enable Bentley to compete in a new segment and face competition from new automakers altogether. More than 70 years have passed since the Bentley 4 1/2 Liter "Blower" was discontinued, and the company should consider a comeback to its sports car-manufacturing roots.
Rumored to cost in excess of $200,000, it will also be the most expensive, factory-built SUV ever sold.
The Bentley Falcon, the fourth vehicle and the very first SUV to join the company’s lineup, is set to arrive in 2016 and take on the likes of the Porsche Cayenne and the BMW X5 with an unprecedented level of luxury. Rumored to cost in excess of $200,000, it will also be the most expensive, factory-built SUV ever sold. Powertrain options will include a W-12 engine at first, with a plug-in hybrid and a diesel to follow.
Styling-wise, the SUV will stay true to Bentley’s current design language, with most of its cues borrowed from theFlying Spur sedan . The Falcon will share its platform with other Volkswagen Group SUVs, including the Audi Q7 , Porsche Cayenne , and the Volkswagen Touareg .