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Bentley Nixing Entry Level Model, Leaning Toward Other Options

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On: Thu, Mar 10, 2011 at 5:08PM | By: Chris Weiss


Bentley Nixing Entry Level Model, Leaning Toward Other Options

Rumors of new Bentley models have been surfacing for months now and the latest indicates that Crewe has no plans of watering its ultra-premium line down with a sub-Continental, entry-level model. Instead, Bentley will work within its current price range to offer something new but equally high-performing and luxurious. What exactly that will be remains a mystery, but there are several possibilities.

Indications are that Bentley will expand its line to include a third model series, augmenting the current two lines of Continental and Mulsanne. While there's no definitive reports of what that third line will be, Autocar peeks at new CEO Wolfgang Durheimer's resume at Porsche to predict a possible answer. To the chagrin of Porsche loyalists, but much to the satisfaction of more middle-of-the-road buyers, Porsche introduced the Cayenne SUV under Durheimer. And that model went on to become Porsche's strongest sales force.

Last month, an SUV was among three rumored future models at Bentley. And given the Cayenne's success at Porsche, not to mention the fact that seemingly every brand is making an SUV or crossover, and we have to figure there's a strong chance that an SUV line will be Bentley's #3. Given that both companies are under the VW umbrella and Bentley's close connection to Stuttgart via Durheimer, we'd expect a Bentley SUV to be a Cayenne platform with Bentley engine and upgraded interior and comfort features.

A report last month from Auto Express indicates that Bentley will likely use Porsche platforms for several new vehicles. That report cited three new Bentley models as opposed to one new line, indicating we can expect a Panamera-based Continental GT sedan and the entry level model.

So, it remains to be seen what Bentley has in mind, but it seems to be all but fact that Crewe will have one or two more vehicles on the road in the years to come.




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