Bentley’s Future Coupe Could be Based on the Audi R8
Don’t look now, but Bentley’s plan for world domination is beginning to take shape. Okay, it’s not really as dramatic as that, but it might as well be for the British automaker and its plan to expand its lineup to include a two-seater sports car that could be based on the Audi R8. Bentley chairman and CEO Wolfgang Durheimer told Autocar that he wants to build the two-seat sports car and a new convertible slotted between the Continental and the Mulsanne "provided a business case for each can be made".
Durheimer thinks that a two-seat sports car would be a good addition to the Bentley lineup. We don’t necessarily subscribe to the thought of turning Bentley into somewhat of a mainstream brand, but we’d be lying if we said that we’re not interested to see what this model would look like. There appears to a belief that the two-seat Bentley could be based on the Audi R8, which isn’t a bad place to start. It could also take on a new look that would be different from the Continental and the Mulsanne. Why not dust off the old Lamborghini-based Hunaudieres concept from 1999 and see if Bentley designers can find inspiration in it?
That would be an interesting wrinkle, should the company go in that direction. As far as the engine is concerned, we’re dubious on the thought that Bentley gives it anything bigger than a V-10. A more likely scenario could be a revised V-8 or a smaller-displacement V-10.
Note: 1999 Bentley Hunaudieres pictured here.
Click past the jump to read more about Bentley’s future entry-level coupe.
Why It Matters
We admit to being intrigued by this two-seater. It’s not often that somebody like Durheimer appears to be enthusiastic about the prospects of a two-seat Bentley arriving in the near future. It does look like were headed in that direction, provided that the dreaded "business case" turns up on the positive side.
To this day, the Hunaudieres still looks nothing like anything Bentley has built in the past 15 years. Suffice to say, the Hunaudieres is as out of place today as it was back then.
But the Hunaudieres did debut Bentley’s 16-cylinder engine developed to provide a technologically advanced powerplant with unique Bentley characteristics. That W-16 engine was actually a pair of V-8 engines that produce 620 horsepower and 561 pound-feet of torque together.
Talk smack about the Hunaudieres’ looks all you want. But you can’t deny the fact that it had an incredible engine then that would still be considered powerful these days.