One of the most popular Bentley models in recent memory isn’t even available for purchase. The Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 concept (pictured) unveiled at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show wooed the public and the press; enthusiasts practically begged to buy the car. It hasn’t been approved for production yet, but Bentley engineering boss Rolf Frech assured us it hasn’t been mothballed, either.
“I still have it in my mind,” he told Digital Trends with a smile during an interview on the sidelines of the Frankfurt Auto Show. “It’s still a great car. To be honest with you, we haven’t made a final decision. We also looked at alternatives.”
Frech didn’t tell us what else Bentley is looking into. Earlier rumors claim the options on the table include an SUV positioned a notch below the Bentayga in terms of size, power, and price. The Bentayga has been a massive hit for the brand, so following up with a smaller model would make a lot of sense, but company boss Wolfgang Dürheimer suggested the smaller SUV has already been axed.
Regardless of which route executives choose to take, the next addition to the company’s family of prestigious models will be a pure Bentley. Frech explained that a car must adhere to the brand’s motto of “driving luxury performance” before it’s given the proverbial green light for production. Other factors influence the decision-making process as well. Any kind of car Bentley decides to launch has to make money, meaning it has to be something customers are asking for. If executives can’t make a sound business case for a car, or even a version of a car, odds are it will never reach production.
The production version of the EXP 10 Speed 6 would most likely be offered as a coupe and as a convertible. Concept cars shown in 2015 and 2016, respectively, explored what a smaller sports car from the brand could look like. But even if the EXP 10 Speed 6 doesn’t end up joining the new Continental in showrooms, a recent design study has already left an indelible mark on the way Bentley operates, and how it views itself as a company.
“It was a great experience with the so-called ‘green car.’ Suddenly we found out there is room. There is room for additional Bentley products, regardless of body style. There is still room for new customers, and for existing customers who want to have alternatives,” Frech summed up. “For a small company like Bentley, it’s clear we need an additional car. If we want to grow, if we want to be successful in the future, we need another model. The Speed 6 is one of those alternatives.”