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Bentley Crossover and Sport Hatch/Estate planned

Wed, 25 Nov 2009

Bentley are planning an 'Allroad' Estate type car and a two-door Shooting Brake hatch

These rumours crop up from time to time – new entry-level models from prestige car makers – but perhaps we need to take some of them a bit more seriously now the world seems to be on a down-sizing path. So we thought it worth at least giving a nod to the rumour that Bentley are planning a pair of entry-level models to slot in below the Continental – in the £70k bracket. Especially as they come from the pen of Georg Kacher, a well-connected and well-respected car journo.

The two models Bentley are planning appear to be a Bentley version of the Audi All-Road; a go-anywhere super-estate with a high-riding position and lashings of luxury. And a sporty two-door, four-seat shooting brake. Which actually seem quite close together in concept (at least under the skin) so do make some kind of business sense. And Franz-Josef Paefgen – Chairman of Bentley – was the Audi boss who championed the Audi Allroad when he was at Audi but opposed the Q7, which indicates the preference for an Allroad type car rather than a full-blown SUV.

The proposed cars – known at Bentley as the New Compact Bentley – would be based on the aluminium underpinnings of the next generation Audi A6/A7 and feature an Audi sourced 4.5 litre twin-turbo V8 delivering around 550bhp. Which sounds promising enough.

The aim with the Allroad style Bentley is to produce a car that will appeal to US and Arab markets with optimum dynamics and low weight (a low weight Bentley – whatever next); a sleek and sport high roof-line lifestyle product – a re-invented Range Rover; an effortless Grand Tourer. The Shooting Brake would be a four-seater with two extra long doors, the stance of a coupe and the practicality of an estate – a Bentley hatchback, in other words.

With Bentley’s once vaunted aim to produce at least 10,000 cars a year – and current production not much more than half that – this could be a way to make Bentley profitable. But it will be at least four years before they see the light of day – 2014.

But at what cost to the marque?

Source: Automobile Mag

By Cars UK