Confirming a recent rumor, Bentley’s chief executive has revealed that a four-door coupe version of the new Bentayga SUV (pictured) is under consideration. Tentatively dubbed Bentayga Sport Coupe, the fastback-like model will be positioned above the regular Bentayga as a more sport-focused offering designed to lure younger buyers into showrooms.
Visually, the two off-roaders will look nothing alike because the Sport Coupe’s front end will borrow at least a handful of styling cues from the well-received EXP 10 Speed 6 concept that was presented to the public at last year’s edition of the Geneva Auto Show. Bentley CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer told trade journal Automotive News that the Sport Coupe’s design hasn’t been finalized yet, but he stressed that it won’t look like an “old Bentley,” referring to the evolutionary design language that has characterized the company’s luxurious sedans for the past couple of decades.
The two models will be all but identical under the sheet metal. The Sport Coupe will share its MLB-Evo platform with the regular Bentayga, the Audi Q7, and the upcoming replacements for the Porsche Cayenne and the Volkswagen Touareg. It will ship with a 6.0-liter W12 engine rated at 600 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque, and an eight-speed automatic transmission that will spin all four wheels. More engines will be added later in the production run, including a more powerful twelve-cylinder that will allow the Sport Coupe to hit 60 mph from a dead stop in less than four seconds. Bentley has ruled out going beyond the 200 mph mark for safety reasons, however.
A handful of Bentley engineers are in the early stages of designing the Bentayga Sport Coupe, but the project hasn’t been approved by Volkswagen’s top brass yet. If it gets the green light for production, the crossover-coupe is expected to make its official debut in 2018 at the earliest. It will be followed by a third crossover that will be smaller and cheaper than the Bentayga, and by the production version of the aforementioned EXP 10 Speed 6 concept.