Bentley likes the idea of an SUV larger than the current Bentayga as part of a new direction for the ultra-luxury brand that focuses on grand touring vehicles rather than the stand-alone sports cars it has examined in the past.
Bentley board member in charge of engineering, Werner Tietz, told Autocar in a report published Thursday that the company has shifted focus away from new sports cars to GTs and larger vehicles, including a second larger SUV. That effectively nixes any idea of a production version of the EXP 10 Speed 6 or EXP 12 Speed 6e roadsters.
2019 Bentley Bentayga V8
He named the U.S. and Chinese markets as very receptive to the idea of a larger SUV than the Bentayga. He called such a vehicle "one opportunity we are exploring." On the same topic, the engineering head said bigger cars are absolutely the way forward for Bentley. Nothing smaller than its current portfolio is planned. Previously, the brand was thought to have an SUV smaller than the Bentayga in the works with an electrified powertrain. In September 2017, reports surfaced Bentley had canned the smaller SUV in favor of a sports car.
Tietz said the brand wants to broaden the number of GT cars it sells for new customers, not just current customers who'd perhaps add a Bentley sports car to their collection. Instead, Tietz said Bentley is unique because it can offer vehicles that drive like a sports car, but with the flip of a switch, coddle drivers in supreme comfort. Tietz wants a GT car for every segment, he said, but what that means is unclear because the brand competes in high-end markets. Perhaps Bentley could come downmarket a bit or explore various body styles.
Bentley EXP 12 Speed 6e concept, 2017 Geneva auto show
Looking further into the future, the engineering chief isn't sure Bentley will go all-in on electric cars yet. He shares concerns other executives have, particularly in the upper luxury space, that the technology isn't right for its models yet. However, he did say Bentley is looking at a city-focused electric car, but the idea is just a concept in management's minds at this point. For now, he said, the brand promises a plug-in version of every car by 2025. He also noted the brand is still interested in fuel-cell technology and is studying how it develops.