Bentley is planning to launch a sportier, coupe-like version of its first SUV, the Bentayga. According to Bentley CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer, a top-of-the-line performance enhanced by advanced technology and engineering is expected for the Bentayga. However, the project still needs further approval. The Bentayga sports coupe is being crafted to perfection to lure the youth into the British brand, which is best known for showing around Queen Elizabeth II in London.
Bentley, the first luxury vehicle brand to introduce a modern SUV, is expected to compete with the likes of Lamborghini, Maserati, Rolls-Royce, and other emerging brands. Duerheimer said that Bentley anticipates rivals to enter the scene by 2018 or 2019. He added, "When they arrive, I want to have an answer."
The final design is still being worked on but Duerheimer claimed that the Bentayga will most likely resemble the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept coupe that was launched at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show. The executive expressed, "Imagine the EXP 10 as an SUV." According to Bentley Head of Design Stefan Sielaff, there are many teams trying to come up with the vehicle's final styling and design. Over the last three years, the global sales of Bentley have topped 10,000 units.
For this year, Duerheimer expects Bentley to post a record-high sales figure with the arrival of the Bentayga. Moreover, the vehicle is expected to be the car maker's top seller as Bentley sets overall output for 2016 at 5,000. The SUV will roll out in the US markets in May, starting at a price of $229,100 that includes all other fees.
If approved, the EXP 10 Speed 6 will be priced and designated lower than the Continental GT, boosting additional sales for the automaker. However, some experts believe that the Bentayga sports coupe will be more expensive than the Bentayga. According to Sielaff, the developers are challenged to come up with a fastback Bentley Bentayga that is more youthful and advanced in styling and performance.
Bentayga is inspired from Volkswagen's MLB-Evo platform, which was used for the revamped Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne, and Volkswagen Touareg. The new Bentayga is also anticipated to help Bentley leverage the $1 billion spent on the overall production of the model, which is developed in Crewe, England, together with the other Bentley models.
Duerheimer expressed his high hopes for the Bentayga's success that he anticipates will reflect on Bentley. He explains that with more success from this model, “…the more we can take the best of it and run with it."
Accordingly, Volkswagen will come up with a decision for the Bentayga sports coupe around the end of the year. On the other hand, Bentley hopes to launch a redefined Mulsanne and its long-wheelbase version at the Geneva Auto Show.