Is The Global Situation Leading to a Boost In Driving Automotive Electrification? Bentley Thinks So
Bentley CEO, Adrian Hallmark, spoke at the SMMT summit today, and the big takeaway from his talk is that the company is focusing on electrification more than ever as it continues to cut costs and focus on becoming “a sector defining, financially independent, and recession proof business.” This focus, however, will bring the death of gas-powered electric vehicles and a cut in workforce at a time when people need work the most. Is it justified, though?
Big Surprise: Bentley Is Considering An SUV to Replace the Now Defunct Mulsanne Sedan
Last week, we reported on Bentley’s cancellation of the Mulsanne and speculated a bit on what was coming next. In that very article, I speculated that Bentley would have been in hot water if it wasn’t for the Bentayga, and the company would likely build another SUV. Well, folks, I was right. In an interview with Car & Driver, Adrian Hallmark, the big-boss of Bentley, has said that flagship status could be given to a new luxury SUV that will sit above the Bentayga. There’s a twist, though, and you need to know about it.
Bentley’s First Electric Car Could Be Largely Different Than What We’re Used To
After Bentley showcases the EXP 100 GT Concept last year as an electric car of the future, everyone has been wondering what Bentley will really do as it moves into the new land of electrification. The EXP 100 GT looked good and all, but it’s a little too modern, so to speak, in some areas. The good news is that we may actually find out exactly what Bentley’s first move into electrification will be, as a Bentley electric car could be launched as soon as 2025.
2021 Bentley Flying Spur Speed
The 2021 Bentley Flying Spur Speed is an upcoming, higher performance version of the third-generation, 2020 Flying Spur sedan. The beefed-up four-door marks the return of the Speed-badged Flying Spur after eight years. Although the first-generation Flying Spur featured a Speed version, Bentley skipped the nameplate for the second-generation, opting for the "S" designation instead.
With the Flying Spur redesigned in 2019, the Speed will probably make a comeback in time for the 2021 model year. The badge will add sportier features on the outside, a few bespoke items on the inside, and a more powerful W-12 engine. Find out what we already know about this sedan in the speculative review below.
The Bentley EXP 100 GT Concept Is About to Lose Its Top
If the recent rumors are true, Bentley is looking to capitalize on the stunningly-designed EXP 100 GT Concept by deriving it into a super-exclusive model of the barchetta-style ilk. The open-top sports tourer is in line to receive the carmaker’s W-12 powerplant that’s shared by the likes of Bentayga, Continental GT, and Flying Spur, but it has to qualify for approval first. Once it ticks that box, its development process will fall into the task of Bentley’s Mulliner division - so expect the open-top sports tourer to ooze luxury through every crevice.
Bentley Just Teased the New Flying Spur and We’re Beyond Intrigued
Two years on from the unveiling of the third-generation Continental GT, Bentley is doing the groundwork before presenting to the world its majestically brutal Continental GT with two bonus doors, otherwise known as the Flying Spur. So far, the British manufacturer has only released a vague teaser image showing the car’s silhouette, and now we’re seeing its retractable hood ornament in detail. Will the Rolls-Royce Ghost be schooled by the new Bentley?
Bentley and Rolls-Royce used to be two birds of a feather merely a couple of decades ago but, since they ended up under different ownership in the early ’00s, Britain’s two top luxury brands have arguably taken two different routes. Bentley, soaking in all of its sporting credentials and a rich motorsport heritage, specialized in brisk sedans and sumptuous grand tourers while Rolls-Royce decided to stay true to its own heritage and kept putting out full-size sedans that abounded in lavish materials and state-of-the-art equipment while more recently tapping into the niche of limited-edition models. The two brands are, as such, quite different in their image now but the upcoming Flying Spur will still have to worry about whatever Rolls-Royce is doing with the Ghost because, as you know, a new Ghost is on the way as well.
2019 Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid
The Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid is an upcoming plug-in hybrid version of the company’s full-size sedan. The four-door follows in the footsteps of the Bentayga Hybrid, Bentley’s first-ever electrified model, which was unveiled in 2018. The Flying Spur Hybrid is part of the third-generation model lineup that should debut by the end of 2019.
Spotted testing with a Porsche Panamera body in 2017, the Flying Spur began making appearances in its camouflaged production shell in 2018. Come 2019, and the sedan is slowly losing camo, but Bentley is also testing new versions. Our paparazzi caught a batch of Flying Spurs testing on public roads in April 2019, including a plug-in hybrid version. Let’s find out what we already know about it in the speculative review below.
There’s a Bentley Bentayga Speed in the Works and It’s Going to be Lambortastic
Volkswagen has done this before as well, and it is doing it again. This time, the automaker is pitting two of its most esteemed marques against each other. Bentley is working on the Bentayga Speed, and it might be just as powerful as the Lamborghini Urus. Won’t this hurt Lamborghini’s sales? Maybe, but if you look at it from the bigger picture, it is the VW group at the end of the day that’s benefiting.
Bentley and the RCA Team Up to Sketch the Future of Elegant Motoring
Bentley, one of the world’s most sophisticated and luxurious marques, has collaborated with second-year design students from the Royal College of Arts (RCA) to envision its future. The students were asked, "What will British luxury mean in 2050?" Out of the 24 responses, four were selected by the lecturers at the college and the Bentley Design Team.
A Bentley Continental GT Hybrid was Spotted Mixing The Best Of Both Worlds
The electrification process has taken over the world by storm. From smallest of hatches, to the marques, every automaker is electrifying its range. Bentley has been vocal about its electrification ambitions, and plans to offer a hybrid version on all its models. Recently, the Bentley Continental GT was spotted in its Hybrid avatar. Even though it looks just like the regular Continental GT, the additional charging port in the rear left fender was the giveaway.
2019 Bentley Continental GT Speed
The Bentley Continental GT Speed is a higher performance version of the British grand tourer. Sportier looking and more powerful, it slots between the standard model and the range-topping Supersports. The new-generation GT Speed, based on the latest Conti GT, is scheduled to arrive in 2019 for the 2020 model year.
Launched in 2017, the third-generation Bentley Continental GT is already in dealerships, but the British luxury company has yet to offer all the usual variations, like a base V-8 model and higher-performance models of the W-12-powered coupe. But it seems the wait is nearly over, as the GT Speed was spotted testing on public roads recently. Just like its predecessor, the GT Speed will arrive with slightly sportier looks, a few extras inside the cabin, and a more powerful version of the company’s 6.0-liter W-12 engine.
Don’t Hold Out for a Two-Seater Sports Coupe from Bentley - It’s Not Going to Happen
Bentley’s new boss, Adrian Hallmark, has big plans for the brand, but a two-seater sports car isn’t one of them. Hallmark made that clear in a conversation with Autocar, saying that the sports car segment is volatile enough as it is and that Bentley isn’t interested in the unpredictability that it comes with. If that’s the tune Bentley’s new CEO is singing, then we might as well say goodbye to our dreams of one day seeing a production version of the EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept.
Bentley’s Drinking the SUV Kool-Aid as Plans For a Coupe-SUV Gains Ground
The success of the Bentayga SUV has empowered Bentley to add a new member to its SUV lineup. The new model is tentatively called “Bentayga Sport,” and rumors have surfaced that it’s going to take the form of a coupe-SUV to complement the more traditional SUV-looking Bentyaga. If the British automaker’s plans go as scheduled, the Bentayga Sport could be break cover as early as 2019.
There’s a Bentley Bentayga Speed on the Way with "Big" Design Changes
Every premium automaker has a luxury SUV in its line-up today. There’s the Rolls Royce Cullinan, the Lamborghini Urus, the Porsche Cayenne, and the Bentley Bentayga, to name a few. This segment is in great demand, and every manufacturer is tirelessly trying to outdo each other by introducing various engine options and what not. This time, Bentley is developing a faster Bentayga, called the Bentayga Speed. This SUV will not just be faster on the road; it’s also set to feature some big design changes.
The New, 2019 Flying Spur Will Be the Last Non-Electrified Bentley
The Bentley Flying Spur has been in the market for more than a decade now. The luxury sedan is one of the most popular models from the Bentley stable and is expected to be revamped as a much more distinctive luxury saloon in 2019. However, this will be the last Bentley to be launched before the company completely reinvents its cars for the electrification era. Read on to know more.
Porsche’s Mission E Platform is Being Tossed Around Like a Dirty Diaper — Even Bentley Will Use it for an EV
Word has it that Bentley has given a four-door EV the green light for development and production, and it will serve as the brand’s flagship model once it finally arrives. The caveat to this statement is that the brand aims for it to be undeniably a Bentley at first glance and it must be a standalone model that isn’t based on any other model or concept produced by the brand thus far. That means it won’t be based on the EXP 12 Speed 6E Concept or the Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 Coupe. Of course, Bentley is a member of the dirty VAG, so you can bet that it will ride on the J1 platform, the same guts that will power models like the Porsche Mission E and the Audi E-Tron GT that we informed you up just a couple of weeks ago.
Is There Room in the World for a Bentley Bentayga Pickup?
The days of automakers touting their purist roots are now over. The was a time when companies like Bentley and Lamborghini laughed at the thought of launching their own SUVs. Now, the Bentayga and Urus are out on the market. The shift in ideologies has given rise to models that we never thought would exist. Using that newfound rationale, what do you think is the likelihood that Bentley greenlights its own pickup?
Bentley to Bring a Plug-In Bentayga to the Geneva Auto Show
Bentley is all set to debut the plug-in hybrid version of the Bentayga SUV at the Geneva Motor Show, making good on its goal of introducing electrified vehicles into its lineup. The plug-in hybrid Bentayga is the first model of its kind for Bentley, which has come a long way from its core identity as a purveyor of luxury automobiles. This specific version of the SUV adds to a growing number of variants attached to the Bentayga name. Since making its debut in 2015, Bentley’s SUV has increased its number of available models to include a range-topping W12, a 4.0-liter diesel V-8, and now, a plug-in hybrid.
Bentley Wants More Variants For Its Bentayga SUV
As if being one of the fastest and most powerful SUVs in the market isn’t enough, Bentley is now considering giving its rivals even more reason to be worried about the Bentayga’s rising stock in the premium SUV segment. That or the company is simply looking to stay ahead of the curve as rival SUVs from Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce hit the market soon. Either way, the British luxury brand is looking at diversifying the Bentayga lineup by adding more variety to it with new variants that can bolster the company’s existing offerings.
Word of this development comes directly from the top of Bentley’s management chain as no less than CEO Wolfgang Durheimer told Autocar that derivatives of the Bentayga are important in ensuring that the company continues to offer a wide variety of models for its clientele ahead of the respective arrivals of the Lamborghini Urus and the Rolls-Royce Cullinan. Among the variants being discussed is a coupe SUV version of the Bentayga, which could position itself as a more premium alternative to the BMW X6 and the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe. A more powerful GT3 R version is also reportedly being considered to beef up the company’s GT family that’s currently being occupied by the Continental. If these variants do get the green light, don’t expect them to hit the market anytime soon. A likely timetable would be 2022 before we see these new Bentayga variants.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Volkswagen Could Throw the Proverbial Turd in Bentley’s Punch Bowl
A couple of years ago, Bentley surprised us all by showing off the 2015 Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept, a delicious-looking coupe with a bold design and more character than a Stephen King Novel. Then, just a couple of years later, Bentley found itself in the same place, only this time with the 2017 EXP 12 Speed 6e Concept. It had the bold styling of the first concept, but this time it was said to have an electrified drivetrain and unlimited headroom. The business case has been made, and the masses have shown lots of interest in such a model, but the Volkswagen Group could keep the Bentley two-seater from ever seeing production.
See, since Bentley is a part of the dirty VAG (pun intended,) it has to be careful when it comes to intergroup competition, and with the Audi R8 being a big model for Audi, VAG may not approve of the EXP in production form. In an interview with Motoring, Uday Senapati – the Head of Technical Operations at Mulliner – said, “From within Bentley, definitely yes [there’s momentum]. But we’re part of a big group, and it has to work with the rest of the group… Because we are a portfolio of brands, we can’t be overtly competing against each other.” When asked if a direct competitor to the R8 was off limits, he responded with, “Exactly. So if we can create a niche segment for it, then yes [we can do it].”
So, with that said, Bentley can’t just go the usual route with the two-seater if it’s ever to see production, but that doesn’t mean all is lost. Keep reading to find out.