2015 Bentley Continental GT Speed ConvertibleEnlarge Photo
Last summer, Bentley CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer revealed the British automaker was looking to add a fifth model to its existing Continental, Flying Spur, Mulsanne and soon-to-arrive Bentayga nameplates, and that it had two leading proposals: a two-seater sports car and a more conventional offering (possibly a four-door coupe) positioned between the Continental GT and Mulsanne.
Now, Autocar is reporting that Bentley is bringing a new concept to next month’s 2015 Geneva Motor Show and that the concept will be in the form of a two-seater sports car. Bentley is expected to use the concept’s unveiling to gauge potential interest in a production version, just as it did with the Bentayga-previewing EXP 9 F concept unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.
If built, such a model from Bentley would compete with the likes of the Aston Martin Vantage, Ferrari California T and an upcoming sports car from Maserati likely to be called a GranSport. It won’t be cheaper than Bentley’s other offerings, however, with Autocar suggesting that any production version of the new sports car concept would likely be positioned alongside the Continental GT rather than below it.
Expect the concept to feature Bentley’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 currently found in entry-level versions of the Continental GT and Flying Spur. The engine offers similar performance to Bentley’s 6.0-liter W-12 but is lighter and more compact and thus a better option for the automaker’s sports car. The platform, meanwhile, will likely be a version of the Volkswagen Group’s new MSB that Bentley will use for its next-generation Continental and Flying Spur. The MSB features a front engine, rear-wheel-drive layout and will appear first in the next-generation Porsche Panamera.
We’ll have more details soon as the Geneva Motor Show gets underway March 3. You can see what else will be at the show by visiting our dedicated hub.