The ultra-posh SUV from Crewe might be joined in the years to come by a smaller crossover and/or by a coupe-ified version. But should Bentley do it?
Bentley’s very first SUV and diesel-powered model, the Bentayga, could become part of a broader array of SUVs that might include a compact model as well as a sleeker coupe-styled variant. The company’s CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer has already revealed additional derivatives are being considered, but at the moment of writing it’s unclear whether any of them have actually received the stamp of approval.
It’s a known fact a sub-Bentayga is one of the models up for debate among Bentley execs, and we won’t be surprised if it will be given the green light in order to allow the company fight the likes of the Jaguar F-Pace and BMW X3 in the battle of compact luxury crossovers. If it will be approved for production, the smaller high-riding model will likely come out around the end of the decade and utilize the MSB platform like the next-gen Continental GT rather than the MLB Evo platform that has underpinned the Bentayga.
Another way to go would be the coupe-ify the Bentayga for a sleeker, performance-oriented version. Dürheimer announced back in February this year that although the model has not been approved, the company is doing advance design and engineering work for what he described as being an SUV equivalent of the gorgeous EXP 10 Speed 6 concept.
Meanwhile, recent spy images have shown Bentley is preparing the all-new Continental GT expected to hit the streets in the second half of 2017, with the drop-top Continental GTC to follow in 2018 when the next Flying Spur will also be out. The aforementioned EXP 10 Speed 6 might also join the family some years from now, with Bentley saying that if approved, it will be launched after the next-gen Continental GT.
Bentley’s very possible decision to bolster its SUV offerings would make financial sense taking into account the segment is still booming and more and more automakers are joining the party. Maserati now has the Levante, while Alfa Romeo will launch the Stelvio next week in Los Angeles. In addition, the Lamborghini Urus will be out in 2018 and a year later Rolls-Royce will dip its toes into the SUV segment with the Bentayga-fighting Cullinan. As for Ferrari, it’s not willing to go down the SUV road just yet, with chairman Sergio Marchionne saying “you have to shoot me first” when asked about the prospects of a jacked-up prancing horse.