Bentley to overhaul entire lineup, add new variants
The Bentley Bentayga that was introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show could spearhead one of the biggest model expansions in the British carmaker’s 96-year history.
Speaking to Automobile Magazine, Bentley CEO Wolfgang Durheimer hinted that an updated version of the range-topping Mulsanne will be presented to the public at next year’s edition of the Geneva Motor Show. It will allegedly benefit from a major facelift that will bring a more chiseled front end, a more upright and wider grille as well as new headlights.
Durheimer also hinted that a long-awaited convertible version of the Mulsanne is in the works. Previewed by the Grand Convertible concept (pictured) that bowed at last year’s Los Angeles show, the convertible will share the bulk of its mechanical components with its four-door sibling but it will boast a sleek, two-door body and a power-folding soft top.
Bentley’s bread-and-butter Continental GT, GTC and Flying Spur will gradually be replaced by all-new models from 2017 to 2019. Details are still few and far between, but all three cars are expected to share their MSB platform with the second-generation Porsche Panamera that will be out in 2017. The current cars’ eight- and twelve-cylinder engines will carry over, but they will be thoroughly revised to obtain better performance and fuel economy.
Bentley executives are still working on getting the production version of the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept approved for production. The show car has drawn overwhelmingly positive responses from fans and potential buyers, but the firm still needs to make a favorable business case for the model before it is signed off by Volkswagen’s top brass
If everything goes according to plan, the EXP 10 Speed 6 — a name that will not make the jump to production — will go on sale in 2019 with a 600-horsepower V8 engine. A convertible model will arrive the following year.
Finally, Bentley is also toying around with the idea of introducing a smaller, more volume-focused SUV based (or at least closely related to) the Audi Q5 and a range-topping supercar that could be launched to coincide with the firm’s 100th birthday. However, neither model will bow until 2019 at the earliest.