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Thursday 14th February 2013


MORE NEW BENTLEYS COMING

Don't worry, they're not all SUVs either!


Having launched both the V8-powered Continental GT and the W12 Continental GT Speed during 2012 - as well as the new GTC Speed droptop just this week - Bentley will unveil further new models in the coming months.

Revised Flying Spur first, EXP 9 F to follow
Revised Flying Spur first, EXP 9 F to follow
On Monday, Crewe will pull the covers off the second generation Flying Spur. "The first Flying Spur was simply a four-door Continental GT," says chief engineer Ken Scott, "but this new version will look quite different."

The marque is also at an "advanced stage of development" with its controversial SUV. The EXP 9 F concept broke cover at the Geneva motor show last year to considerable criticism for its bold styling. Although the final production model will differ slightly in appearance, the concept was in fact met with overwhelming approval when shown to potential customers, particularly those in the Middle and Far Eastern markets that will eventually account for the bulk of sales. It will have genuine off-road capabilities, too.

Go on, build us a road car version ... please!
Go on, build us a road car version ... please!
Although no further details were offered, Scott also confirmed that both the Audi-sourced twin-turbo V8 and the venerable twin-turbo W12 powerplants both had more to offer, so we should expect more powerful versions of each in the near future. Scott wouldn't be drawn on the likelihood of a second-generation Supersports model, although he did explain that the original version was a success and attracted new customers to the brand. When quizzed about a more focused version of the Continental GT V8, Scott did admit that the weight saving compared to the W12 - although not vast - did significantly improve handling due to its location over the front axle.

Plug-in hybrid technology is likely to feature in Bentley's forthcoming models - "one of the benefits of being part of the Volkswagen-Audi Group" - but we shouldn't expect to see a diesel powered Bentley any time soon. Having pioneered the use of E20 biofuels in the luxury marketplace, the marque has now shelved such projects; "We were the only manufacturer doing it and the infrastructure just wasn't there. We weren't the right company to pioneer the use of biofuel," says Scott.

Bentleys will get greener in more than just paint
Bentleys will get greener in more than just paint
With yet more powerful versions of the Continental GT in the pipeline and the marque's first SUV just over the horizon, 2013 looks like being an exciting year for Bentley.

Author: Dan Prosser
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