Bentley is just weeks away from introducing the controversial Bentayga, its first-ever utility vehicle. The Bentayga is expected to quickly become the British car maker’s best-selling model, but Bentley hopes to give its sales an even bigger boost by introducing a new sports car that will slot above the Continental GT.
Speaking with The Detroit Bureau, Bentley CEO Wolfgang Durheimer explained that the yet-unnamed model will be a “fairly aggressive, state-of-the-art sports car” that “will make a different company out of Bentley Motors.” Design-wise, the model will be heavily influenced by the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept (pictured) that was presented to the public earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show.
The two-seater coupe — which could spawn a convertible later on — will be smaller, lighter and more driver-focused than the Continental GT. It will be aimed directly at high-end, high-profile sports cars like the Ferrari F12berlinetta.
An earlier report finds the coupe will use the same 6.0-liter W12 engine as the Bentayga. Designed to power a long list of Volkswagen products including the next Phaeton and the Audi A8, the twelve-cylinder will make at least 600 horsepower and 663 lb-ft. of torque in its most basic state of tune. An automatic transmission will almost certainly come standard, but it’s too early to tell if the car will be rear- or all-wheel drive.
Durheimer stresses that the project has yet to receive the proverbial green light for production from parent company Volkswagen. Although Bentley is in the process of making a business case for the EXP 10 Speed 6-influenced coupe, it’s in no hurry because it’s currently allocating nearly all of its resources to launching the Bentayga.
When we can expect to see the production version of the EXP 10 Speed 6 is up in the air, but we’ll likely hear more about the coupe on the sidelines of this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.