After first clapping eyes on a concept car, the first thing that follows your initial knee-jerk response is either, “Yeah, that’ll probably go into production,” or “The national debt will be paid off before that monstrosity goes into production.” When Bentley introduced its sporty EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept, with its well-proportioned exterior and impeccably finished interior, you definitely got the sense it would eventually land in showrooms, and now it looks like that might indeed be the case.

Bentley chief Wolfgang Duerheimer recently told Automotive News Europe that he’s keen to continue expanding Bentley beyond its current Mulsanne, Flying Spur and Continental lineup, and that one or two new models could follow after the Bentayga crossover SUV to be introduced next year. The EXP 10 Speed 6 rumored to be a front-running candidate to fill one of those slots, and a final decision is expected by the end of 2015.

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Why it matters

It’s all part of Duerheimer’s plan to increase sales from 11,020 units at the end of 2014 to over 15,000 by 2018, but rather than the entry-level Bentley some were expecting, the EXP 10 Speed 6 will be priced similarly to the Continental, with its primary competitor being Aston Martin’s DB9 replacement. The Speed 6 will be more of a super-sports car, while the Continental will continue to provide its opulent, boulevard-cruiser driving experience.

Bentley hasn’t divulged any information on the Speed 6 powertrain, but, given the price point, expect it to be introduced with a more powerful version of the Audi-sourced, 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V-8, with a more-affordable six-cylinder version introduced later. Expect power to be channeled to all four wheels through a dual-clutch transmission. As much as we would like to see Bentley’s twin-turbo W-12 or even the torque-monster 6.7-liter, twin-turbo V-8 from the Mulsanne, neither are likely to be in the cards.

Speaking with Automotive News Europe about Bentley’s expansion, Duerheimer said, “We do not intend to give up our premium position. We are leader of the pack in Europe, the U.S. and China." Going by the overwhelmingly positive public reception to the EXP 10 Speed 6 and Bentley’s aggressive expansion, we would be shocked if it didn’t get the green light.

2015 Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6

2015 Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 Exterior
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Read our full review here.

Source: Automotive News

James Wolfcale
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