2014 has been a busy year for Bentley so far. The Brits have begun testing their upcoming SUV and launched the Continental GT3-R , a high-performance coupe paying tribute to the GT3 race car . The next few months will also see the introduction of the Mulsanne Speed , but apparently, Bentley won’t stop there. As we speak, the luxury manufacturer is developing a strategy to further expand its offerings.
According to Car & Driver, Bentley is focusing on two different fronts. The first one revolves around developing limited-edition models under the Mulliner badge. These vehicles would be aimed at wealthy customers and collectors to help Bentley enter a very profitable niche currently dominated by the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini . This idea has been floating around the company’s headquarters in Crewe for a while now, but it seems the Brits are finally ready to make the big step.
The second expansion lies on the other side of the lineup and involves the introduction of a brand-new vehicle to sit below the Continental. Bentley doesn’t build new vehicles too often, so this is obviously the bigger news of the pack. Stick around to find out more.
Note: Bentley Continental GT pictured here.
Click past the jump to read more about Bentley’s future entry-level model.
Bentley’s future entry-level model
With the twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 found in the Conti GT V8 generating 500 horsepower, the new coupe already sounds like a lot of fun.
Details are extremely thin as of this writing, but the report does say the brand-new coupe will be become available with V-8 engines only. It might seem a little disappointing at first glance, but it actually makes sense considering the "baby Continental" will not only be smaller, but lighter too. With the twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 found in the Conti GT V-8 generating 500 horsepower, the new coupe already sounds like a lot of fun. Should Bentley offer the GT V-8 S’ engine too, output will go all the way up to 521 ponies and 502 pound-feet of torque.
The current Continental GT V8 tips the scales at 5,060 pounds. If weight were to fall below 4,500 pounds, we expect the compact coupe to be able to accelerate from 0 to 60 in a little over four seconds, which would put it on par with a number of high-end sports car. Car & Driver even goes as far as to claim the unnamed Bentley would be capable of competing against the Porsche 911 , Aston Martin Vantage and the McLaren P13 . The latter is out of Bentley’s league if you ask us, but we could definitely see the new coupe giving the Porsche 911 a run for its money.
There’s no information as to when this new vehicle will arrive, but we expect more details to surface around the 2014 Paris Motor Show this fall.
Why It Matters
Bentley definitely needs to expand its offerings.
With only three models currently in its lineup, not counting convertibles and other iterations, Bentley definitely needs to expand its offerings. Sure, the upcoming SUV will be a huge addition that will open the door to further profitability and maybe yet another niche, but it’s time the Brits start thinking about smaller, sportier models. A sub-Continental model seems like the perfect choice, as Bentley now has the chance to develop a lighter vehicle that no longer needs a massive V-12. Bentley is known for a lot of awesome things, but lightness isn’t one of them. This new coupe could enable the Brits to prove us wrong. And we’d love for that to happen!