Rolls-Royce Takes Shots At Bentley Bentayga, Essentially Calls It A Rebadged Model
The rivalry heats up between the two former stablematesby Kirby, on
The rivalry between Rolls-Royce and Bentley is real and if anybody still doesn’t see it that way, Rolls CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes’ recent comments about the Bentley Bentayga has made it abundantly clear that there’s still no love lost between the two former stablemates. Speaking with Auto News Europe about the upcoming launch of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV, or “all-terrain, high-sided vehicle” as Rolls would like everyone to call it, Mueller-Oetvoes emphasized that the Cullinan will not use “mass-manufactured body shell,” unlike a certain model that he essentially described as a “camouflaged Audi Q7.”
You don’t need to be an expert in the acrimonious history between the two brands to know that Mueller-Oetvoes is referring to the Bentayga, which uses the same MLB Evo architecture that can be found underpinning the aforementioned Q7, as well as the Porsche Cayenne and Lamborghini Urus. Apparently, Mueller-Oetvoes believes that the approach of platform sharing limits what can be done on the design end of the SUV, which in turn “undermines exclusivity.” For its part, the Cullinan won’t have that problem because it will be riding on the luxury brand’s new “Architecture of Luxury,” a scalable, aluminum space frame platform that was designed specifically to accommodate Rolls-Royce models. The all-new Phantom is the first model to make use of the architecture though it also won’t be the last since the Cullinan, as well as next-gen models of the Ghost, Dawn, and Wraith, will all make use of it at some point.
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|Bentley Bentayga||Audi Q7|
The rivalry between Rolls-Royce and Bentley may not be old in the traditional sense – the two brands were only split up in the late 90’s after being together since 1931 – but it has evolved into a serious one on account of the two brands belonging to the same exclusive segment. Neither company will probably admit being a rival to the other, but the proof is everywhere, right down to the specific models it provides to its exclusive clientele.
The Cullinan’s platform will be exclusive to Rolls-Royce models, it’s still technically a shared architecture, one that’s also being used by the all-new Phantom
Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes’ comments do nothing but add to that conceived sentiment and while he does have a point that the Cullinan’s platform will be exclusive to Rolls-Royce models, it’s still technically a shared architecture, one that’s also being used by the all-new Phantom and will be used down the road by next-generation versions of the company’s other existing models. Granted, it’s not mass-manufactured in the same way as the shared platform being used by the Bentayga, Q7, Cayenne, and Urus, but it’s still “shared” to a certain extent.
Beyond his comments though, it’s easy to understand why Mueller-Oetvoes was quick to dismiss the Bentayga and somewhat indirectly, the Lamborghini Urus. Those two SUVs will eventually become the Cullinan’s biggest rivals when it hits the market in the next year or two. The space it will occupy will be impeded by these two rivals so in anticipation of the Cullinan’s arrival, what better way to get people to talk about it than to categorize its biggest rivals as nothing more than sheep wrapped in wolves clothing.
I don’t expect Bentley to get into a war of perception with Rolls-Royce because it probably has nothing to gain by doing it.
I don’t expect Bentley to get into a war of perception with Rolls-Royce because it probably has nothing to gain by doing it. At this point, all it can point to is the success the Bentayga has had since it hit the market last year. That’s really what it boils down to. The Bentayga, for the most part, has been a success for Bentley, even if sales have cooled down in recent months. Its arrival has done nothing but good things for Bentley though and that has to weight in the minds of Rolls-Royce to prepare the Cullinan to be as good, if not better than the Bentayga. Judging by Mueller-Oetvoes’ comments, it appears that Rolls is up to the challenge.
Read our speculative review on the Rolls-Royce Cullinan
Read our full review on the Bentley Bentayga
Read our full review on the Audi Q7.
Source: Auto News Europe