A plug-in hy­brid petrol V6 is a pos­si­ble route


O n e’s a n SU V, th e o th e r i s a s p o r t s c a r. B u t w h i c h c o m e s f i r s t?

BENT­LEY WA NTS TO A DD two fur­ther new mod­els to its ex­ist­ing line-up. They will join the Con­ti­nen­tal GT, Mul­sanne and Ben­tayga mod­els.

The two op­tions on the ta­ble are a coupe-like SUV based on the new Ben­tayga and a new sports coupe first mooted with the EXP 10 Speed 6 con­cept (pic­tured) shown at Geneva in 2015. How­ever, ei­ther would re­quire the Ben­tayga to hit its pro­duc­tion tar­gets in or­der to pay for devel­op­ment and the re­quired ex­pan­sion at Crewe.

Speak­ing at the Geneva mo­tor show, CEO Dr Wolf­gang Dürheimer con­firmed that he wants to de­cide which new model will be built first by the end of the year. The like­li­hood is that the coupe-suv will get the nod as it will utilise the Ben­tayga’s plat­form and fur­ther max­imise cash flow to fund the all-new sports coupe.

‘When we showed the EXP 10 Speed 6, ev­ery­one said we had to build it,’ said Dürheimer. ‘But we don’t have a hon­eyand-milk pipe from VW Group and we have to pay for our new mod­els and make a busi­ness plan for them.’ Part of the EXP 10’s devel­op­ment could be shared with Porsche, which, de­spite the Mis­sion E con­cept hav­ing been re­tired from the show cir­cuit, is work­ing on an elec­tric sports car that at the end of 2015 was given the go-ahead for pro­duc­tion.

Bent­ley is also look­ing at a hy­brid pow­er­train. A full EV, how­ever, has been ruled out. ‘Too much weight, not enough per­for­mance for a Bent­ley,’ said Dürheimer. ‘I think the in­dus­try is go­ing down the wrong path with EVS. They sound pos­i­tive about it but I think it’s the wrong di­rec­tion.’ A petrol V6 with plugin hy­brid tech­nol­ogy is a pos­si­ble route. ‘With this com­bi­na­tion we can de­liver the ex­pected power out­put of a Bent­ley. Re­duc­ing the num­ber of cylin­ders on the en­gine re­duces a small amount of weight to com­pen­sate for the elec­tric mo­tors and bat­tery pack. Within VW Group we have ac­cess to some very clever tech­nol­ogy.

‘Our cus­tomers are early adopters of tech­nol­ogy, but only when it works and of­fers them a clear ben­e­fit. When we in­tro­duce a hy­brid, it will be at a point when the customer is de­mand­ing it and we are able to de­liver what they ex­pect.’

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