After launching an SUV, will Bentley head in the opposite direction with a smaller coupe?

In addition to its upcoming SUV, Bentley is reportedly considering a fourth model line.

While the SUV will push the limits of size and price, this possible new model will be more economical.

Economical for a Bentley, at least.

Car and Driver reports that Bentley may build a smaller coupe that would slot below the Continental GT in the lineup, and would be powered exclusively by V8 engines.

Such a car would be positioned against high-end versions of other manufacturer’s sports cars. Think Porsche 911 GT3 or Aston Martin V12 Vantage S.

Slimming down the size of the coupe would give Bentley an opportunity to build a truly sporty model.

The carmaker has been burnishing its performance reputation with a GT3 racing program and road cars like the Continental GT3-R and refreshed 2015 Continental GT Speed.

A car with less weight to throw around than the gargantuan Continental GT seems like a logic step further in the direction of performance.

That would give Bentley a distinctly bi-polar lineup, with the small coupe at the sporty end and the SUV and Mulsanne continuing in the traditional luxury role. The Continental and its Flying Spur sedan sibling would occupy a sort of middle ground.

A smaller model (with a presumably smaller price tag to match) would also help build sales volume for the brand, so it would make sense for accountants and racers alike.

Bentley hasn’t made a final decision, though. If it does get the green light, a downsized coupe won’t appear until after the SUV launches in 2017.