Bentley’s new CEO isn’t a fan of sports cars so that’s that

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.

Don't Hold Out for a Two-Seater Sports Coupe from Bentley - It's Not Going to Happen Exterior
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Even with a concept as tantalizing as the EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept, Bentley has hesitated on crossing the Rubicon and fully venturing into the sports car market

There was a time when it was almost impossible to imagine Bentley having any performance models in its fold. But the influx of high-powered luxury saloons has opened room for the British brand to roll out models like the Continental GT and Continental GT Speed, while also showcasing concepts like the aforementioned EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept that it unveiled at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show.

Even with a concept as tantalizing as the EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept, Bentley has hesitated on crossing the Rubicon and fully venturing into the sports car market. Now it seems that it’s no closer to dipping its toes in that market with new CEO Adrian Hallmark in the fold. “The sports car sector – like our own – is highly volatile in a recession. It can drop 50% or 60%,” Hallmark said. “Only this time, the sports car sector forgot to recover. And if you look at their history, and the average age of their buyers, you’ll see the age goes up by one every year. It means the cars are being bought by the same old enthusiasts. When owners are in arts or sports, either their contract says they’re not allowed to drive because of the risk, or publications like The Sun publish pictures of them driving, which they don’t enjoy. That doesn’t help sales, either.”

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Part of the hesitation probably resides in the fact that Bentley, as a Volkswagen-owned company, already has enough competition from within its ranks

There’s a point to Hallmark’s comments. Bentley isn’t a traditional purveyor of two-seater sports cars, and while it has had success introducing high-powered saloons to the market, a traditional mid-engine sports car is another story entirely. Part of the hesitation probably resides in the fact that Bentley, as a Volkswagen-owned company, already has enough competition from within its ranks. Porsche is a sister company. So is Audi. Move to the realm of supercars, and you’ll see Lamborghini there. Go even more upstream, and there’s Bugatti. It’s possible that the VW mothership has drawn a line in the sand on what Bentley can and can’t do. Sports cars, it seems, belongs in the latter.

Then again, even if Volkswagen gave Bentley the autonomy to make its own calls, a two-seater sports car probably doesn’t make as much sense now that the company already has the Bentayga to carry its sales load. Hallmark would probably have a different outlook if the Chinese market is in play for sports cars, but apparently, it’s not, either. “In China, it’s the opposite,” he said, referring to young buyers. “There are plenty of 30- to 40-year old millionaires, but they tend not to play tennis, football or sing. And they drive SUVs or limousines, so the sports car sector has not benefited from the Chinese expansion.”

Don't Hold Out for a Two-Seater Sports Coupe from Bentley - It's Not Going to Happen Exterior
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That’s not to say that the discourse isn’t going to change, but for now, that’s the one type of car that Bentley won’t be building.

With the way the cards are dealt, it’s easy to understand why Adrian Hallmark is against developing a proper two-seater Bentley sports car. That’s not to say that the discourse isn’t going to change, but for now, that’s the one type of car that Bentley won’t be building.

Further reading

Don't Hold Out for a Two-Seater Sports Coupe from Bentley - It's Not Going to Happen High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2015 Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept.

2018 Bentley Continental GT Exterior High Resolution
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Read our full review on the 2018 Bentley Continental GT.

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Read more Bentley news.

Source: Autocar

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