Expect hybrids and EVs instead... yawn.
We have known for a while now that Bentley has plans to introduce multiple plug-in hybrid vehicles, starting with the V6-powered Bentayga hybrid. In an interview with Autocar, Bentley boss Adrian Hallmark talked about the company's strategy for the future and how the segment has changed in recent years. Hallmark has specific plans on how to be competitive in what he calls ‘The Big Five,’ which includes “Ferrari, Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin and [Bentley].” Sorry Maserati and McLaren, but you didn't make Bentley's list.
Those five automakers combine for around 70,000 cars globally each year, and Bentley would like a bigger piece of the pie than the roughly 11,000 cars it produces every year. Bentley's path to success is paved with hybrid and V8 versions in every sector, as well as Speed versions of every model. There is a bit of bad news for those of you who may have been holding out for a new Bentley Sports car positioned above the new Continental GT - “I won’t talk about our decisions on future models,” Hallmark said, “but I’ll tell you what we won’t be building, and that’s sports cars."
That means you can forget about production versions of stunning concept cars like the EXP 10 Speed 6 Coupe and EXP 12 Speed 6e EV convertible. “The sports car sector – like our own – is highly volatile in a recession. It can drop 50% or 60%. Only this time, the sports car sector forgot to recover. And if you look at their history, and the average age of their buyers, you’ll see the age goes up by one every year. It means the cars are being bought by the same old enthusiasts" Hallmark explained.
Even athletes, who typically flock to sports cars, are being limited in what they can drive by their contracts to reduce the risk of injury. Convertible sports cars also give athletes and celebrities a greater chance of being spied by paparazzi, which can be a nuisance. Bentley will definitely be revealing new models in the coming years, but the company's model lineup won't be comprised of sports cars.