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Bentley Bentayga Speed in the Works, More SUVs Still Being Considered

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 4/27/2016 Stefan Ogbac
2017 Bentley Bentayga front three quarter in motion© Provided by MotorTrend 2017 Bentley Bentayga front three quarter in motion

Bentley's first SUV is about to get a more potent variant, as the automaker looks to expand the Bentayga lineup with a "Speed" version along with other new models. Speaking to Auto Express at the Beijing auto show, Bentley boss Wolfgang Durheimer said that China's demand for SUVs increased the likelihood of another SUV being added to the automaker's lineup.

"The Chinese market will add into this decision, but it is not the market that makes the decision," said Durheimer. "Their purchasing behaviour at the moment fits exactly to our personal view as we see it right now, that the SUV segment is the only segment worldwide and it's the same in China." Bentley is currently deciding between a smaller SUV to slot below the Bentayga or a production version of the EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept that was shown at the 2015 Geneva auto show for the next addition to its lineup.

Bentley Bentayga Speed in the Works, More SUVs Still Being Considered

When asked whether Chinese customers wanted more Bentayga variants, Durheimer said that there will eventually be Speed variants of the SUV. Currently, the only engine option in the Bentayga is a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W-12 rated at 600 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque, and paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. That model already tops our charts, coming in as the second quickest SUV we've ever tested at 3.5 seconds to 60 mph. You can likely expect a Speed variant to be even more extreme.

Durheimer also expects Bentley sales to increase in China once the government relaxes its anti-corruption investigations of wealthy citizens, which he believes is putting off buyers of luxury vehicles who don't want to draw attention.

"With this anti-corruption subject it is bringing our market position a little bit out of balance. People are afraid to show what they achieved, but they would like to show it because they're working very hard there's a nervousness," said Durheimer. "We are following this anti-corruption subject very closely to understand how long it will go on for. The projections are that as soon as the government drops the aggressiveness with how they execute this anti-corruption programme, things will normalise. Then I forecast a boom to our products.

He continued by stating that "with a long-term view when the situation is normalised we can more than double our volume in China in comparison with the current volume."

Source: Auto Express

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