Bentley’s past is littered with racing achievements, particularly before the Second World War when the likes of the Bentley Boys, a group of hard-driving, wealthy and dedicated works team racers, helped push the brand to numerous racing successes. Even as recently as 2003, Bentley was competing and winning races, including taking the title at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

After a quick look at Bentley’s current range, you’d be forgiven for thinking Bentley has never sullied its hands in the white-hot world of racing, but nothing could be further from the truth. According to a new report, Bentley is looking to change that reputation.  

Car and Driver is reporting that Bentley will present a new concept at the 2012 Paris Auto Show taking place next month that will underscore the brand’s sporting aspirations. It will reportedly be the most sporting Bentley since the Hunaudières concept car of 1999, a mid-engine supercar based on a Lamborghini platform and powered by a W-16 engine. The Hunaudières eventually went on to spawn the Veyron supercar for a rejuvenated Bugatti, while Bentley went down the route of ultimate luxury.

Bentley has been vocal of late about its interest in returning to motorsport. The company recently hired a former Le Mans prototype designer and has been rumored to be considering entering the Dakar rally with its upcoming SUV, so it's possible the new concept could be a preview of a new Bentley race car.

Of course, Bentley is yet to launch the high-performance Supersports version of its updated Continental GT range, so it’s also possible the new Paris concept could be a preview of the next Continental Supersports.

Stay tuned for an update.