There is a lot of news being made this weekend and all of it is coming out of Bentley’s various motorsports programs. While I’m in Wisconsin for the Pirelli World Challenge, Bentley is in England for the Goodwood Festival of Speed. If you’re a company focused on luxurious, high performance vehicles, what better place to break some news than at something called the Festival of Speed?
Speaking there, Bentley CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer said, “We are currently evaluating two options – the EXP10 and a second SUV. But it’s not a question of which one we do, but which one we do first,” confirming that Bentley will move forward with the stunning Speed 6.
Bentley executives have discussed the smaller SUV option before. Porsche’s new tiny ute, the Porsche Macan, has been well received and you can see how Bentley could look at this and see the market potential for a smaller Bentayga.
However, CEO Dürheimer says that we shouldn’t expect that. Instead, we could expect to see a different body style of the Bentayga. Something that looks more like a crossover, rather than a traditional wagon style off-road SUV. I’m speculating here, but perhaps something with smaller rear cargo room due to a sporty, sloping rear back-half.
Edit: CEO Dürheimer would make other comments this weekend that seemed to indicate that Bentley hadn’t ruled out a smaller SUV to sell along side the Bentayga. I’ll leave this article as originally written and we will all have to wait and see how things develop. -Wm
The Speed 6 debuted earlier this year in Geneva and has made the rounds on the auto show circuit and at customer events. You can read our Speed 6 review here. The car really wowed the crowd at Geneva when it debuted and based on conversations I’ve had with journalists who were there, that is a hard thing to do.
The Speed 6 went on to win accolades and awards wherever it went including the Best Design award the prestigious Concorso d’Elganza Ville d’Este. Customers were excited about the car too.
If this is official news, then we could expect the sporty two seater around 2019. Althought the concept looks finished from the outside, it actually has a long ways to go as far as chassis and drivetrain engineering before it reaches production. With Bentley currently developing their new SUV and working on the next generation Continental GT, we can expect them to have less time to devote to the Speed 6. The only consideration is that the Speed 6 could be a derivative of the next Continental GT, saving some time and effort.
Based on previous comments from Bentley executives, we can expect the Speed 6 to be all-wheel drive like the Continental and be powered by Bentley’s twin-turbo V8 with a hybrid option. Dürheimer has warned us not to think the smaller Bentley would be cheaper than the Continental GT, hinting that they may share even more than just price.
Bentley currently produces three lines of cars and sells about 11,000 per year. The Bentayga is expected to add another 3,000 to 4,000 per year. The company’s longer term goal is to reach 20,000 cars annually, which a fifth or sixth model would help them achieve.