Bentley Has Big Plans for New Models


Bentley aims to roll out a new model every other year, with new Continental models, new Flying Spur, SUV and Muslanne convertible all on the drawing board.

Since its rebirth under Volkswagen Group ownership, Bentley has emerged as a leader in the ultra-luxury segment, dicing it with BMW's Rolls-Royce and summarily dismissing Daimler's Maybach brand. But don't think for a second that Bentley is about to sit on its well-upholstered laurels. No, the Flying B marque has a whole raft of new models planned. In fact, despite currently having essentially two models in its portfolio, Bentley intends to introduce a new or substantially updated model every two years.

Those plans, of course, involve plenty of upgrades for the Continental range. For starters, Bentley is spinning the new Flying Spur sedan off of the Continental family. Although the new four-door will share its underpinnings with the Continental GT and GTC, the next Flying Spur (expected to debut in the coming months) will be separated from its two-door stablemates in terms of both styling and marketing nomenclature, with both V8 and W12 models to be offered. As for the Continental GT, Motor Trend reports that more performance-oriented versions will be based on both the eight- and twelve-cylinder models, as well.

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Although the W12 will remain the flagship and offer increasing levels of power, the V8 models will remain lighter and therefor offer superior handling dynamics. Bentley's new head of design and chief executive also plan on taking the Continental's styling in a new direction. The recently updated Continental GT and GTC, feels design chief David Hilton, look too much like the models they replace. Expect the next Conti to take a further departure from its predecessor's styling. Hilton isn't about to stop there, though. While Bentley waits for the green light from VW on the EXP 9 F project, the design team is hard at work on revising the concept's styling.

We're told to expect a new SUV concept in the near future that will preview the potential production version. However it looks, though, Bentley is already reportedly taking in orders from prospective customers, particularly in the Middle East and China where the third model line will help further advance sales. Finally the Mulsanne Convertible previewed in those design sketches a few months ago is still under development as Bentley waits for corporate approval on this project as well.