While Bentley has made it clear with the EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept that the U.K. luxury automaker is taking the idea of a production sports car very seriously, not since the 1999 Hundaudieres has the brand shown signs of producing a hypercar.
The occasion for such a model’s introduction would be Bentley’s 100-year anniversary in 2019. CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer confirmed that a $1 million-plus hypercar is among the models being considered for the celebration.
“Our centenary would be a good time to create a new limited series car,” he told Top Gear.
Not only is a halo performance model under consideration, but Dürheimer confirmed that a decision on a production version EXP 10 Speed 6 is coming soon. “The question is, do we build the standard car you would expect in that segment? Or do we go with lots of carbon fibre and lightweight components? Now that would be a car we could take to the big guns.”
When he was the R&D head at Porsche, Dürheimer pushed the 918 Spyder into production while overcoming a series of technological and financial concerns. It makes sense that he wants to repeat such a successful experiment at Bentley.
When the Hundaudieres Concept was revealed, it boasted a 623 horsepower, 8.0-liter W16 engine with 561 pound-feet of torque. If Bentley plans to rival the world’s best hypercars like the Ferrari LaFerrari, McLaren P1, Pagani Huayra, and Porsche 918, the “limited series” model will need to pack a far greater punch. While Bentley has yet to embrace hybrid or full-electric powertrain components, a major anniversary could be the right time to show the future of the exclusive brand’s engineering.
However its performance stacks up, expect Bentley’s halo model to feature a far more luxurious and refined cabin than its rivals.