Rolls-Royce CEO Calls Bentley Bentayga A "Camouflaged Audi Q7"


Smack talk, automotive CEO style.

It’s become pretty much standard operating procedure in today’s industry for automakers to engage in platform sharing. Huge amounts of money is saved by not having to design, engineer and test platforms for every single new model. Volkswagen Group was the first major automaker to have a multi-use platform (called MQB) for a number of its cars, and now it has one specifically for large SUVs, such as the Bentley Bentayga and Audi Q7.

But Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes implied to Automotive News Europe that the Bentley Bentayga, the upcoming Rolls-Royce Cullinan’s chief rival, is really nothing more a rebadged Audi Q7. Bentley and Audi are, of course, part of the VW Group. "We are not using mass-manufactured body shells," Mueller Oetvoes explained. "That limits what you can do on the design side, and it undermines exclusivity massively. You don’t want a camouflaged (Audi) Q7 in that segment. You want to have a true Rolls-Royce." And that, children, is how automaker CEOs smack talk their rivals. Now, it’s important to remember that Rolls-Royce is owned by BMW, therefore wouldn’t it make sense for BMW to provide a platform?

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It would, but that’s not exactly happening. Instead, Rolls-Royce, in an effort to further separate itself from those poor peoples’ BMWs, has developed a new aluminum-spaceframe architecture for its next generation models, such as the just revealed all-new Phantom. The Cullinan, obviously, will also benefit from this new platform.