Com­pact pair boosts Bent­ley

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pro­duc­tion in 2017 at the ear­li­est.

“It is a head-to-head race. It’s not a ques­tion of which one we do, but which one we do first,” says Bent­ley CEO Wolf­gang Durheimer.

“Novem­ber 27 is start of pro­duc­tion for Ben­tayga. We are eval­u­at­ing two (fur­ther mod­els). One is an SUV de­riv­a­tive and the other is Speed 6.

“I think Speed 6 is a good idea and this is also the opin­ion of our cus­tomers. We are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing stun­ning re­sults from this mar­ket re­search.”

Bent­ley sales chief Kevin Rose con­curs: “We had a lot of cus­tomers who said, ‘I want that now.’ With these two cars we ap­proach 20,000 cars (an­nual pro­duc­tion). This means our com­pany dou­bles its size with Speed 6.

“We are spend­ing £840 mil­lion on new pro­duc­tion, en­gi­neer­ing cen­tre and new de­sign cen­tre. A lot of new prod­ucts are in the pipeline.

“The best years of Bent­ley are still to come. We think we can be a very se­ri­ous player in this lux­ury seg­ment.”

Among the de­vel­op­ments are plug-in hy­brid ver­sions of each model, to cut emis­sions and fuel use and to boost per­for­mance by us­ing an elec­tric mo­tor as a type of su­per­charger.

“You can never have enough power in a Bent­ley. We will use it for both be­cause it’s avail­able, also, as a booster,” says Durheimer.

“It’s not a se­cret to say we are work­ing on plug-in hy­brids to ap­ply where it is nec­es­sary. We need to com­ply with in­ter­na­tional rules.”

De­spite the in­tro­duc­tion of plug-ins, start­ing with the Ben­tayga SUV, Durheimer says speed still comes be­fore green power at Bent­ley.

“We are stick­ing to our phi­los­o­phy that we will have big en­gines in the fu­ture. Ev­ery car that comes into the mar­ket has more power and less CO2. That’s a writ­ten rule in Bent­ley.”

But there will be no pure elec­tric Bent­ley. “Our cus­tomers have be­tween six and eight cars (in the garage). If they need an elec­tric car to com­mute, they will find one (from owner) Volk­swa­gen Group.”

Small is a rel­a­tive term: Bent­ley Speed 6 con­cept

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