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!
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
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.
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you would have thought that thing will sell well in China
It did, although bizarrely with a Montego nose
cptsideways17 Feb 2013
Both have four wheels and nearly the same colour!
Obviously they have employed Lipu on the design side of things, you would have thought that thing will sell well in China as they appear to be immune to hideous cars over there.
That thing makes the Maestro look cool!!!
I WISH17 Feb 2013
Ozzie Osmond said:
IMO Bentley has become the very pinacle of bad taste. Big, heavy, lumpen things - blinged up and tackified for the Geordie Shore mentality.
I agree. While any number of proper Bentleys feature in my dream garage, the current range holds no appeal at all and is, frankly, embarrassing. Rolls Royce has shown how to do the job properly.
Couldn't agree more. VW promised to act as responsible custodians of a great marque with real style ..... but they have long since reneged on that commitment.
It's now likely that many of the potential buyers of the cars with the values that Bentley used to stand for will desert them in droves. The reflected horrific bad taste of the new SUV will leave some customers to not wish to own any other car in the range that is in bad taste by association.
This will leave the "new" Bentley image as appealing only to premier league footballers, drug dealers, middle eastern types with more cash than sense ..... and anyone else with enough resources but who has had a taste by pass and for whom "bling is king".
It's a pity that VW weren't able to devise a completely new marque to achieve their aims .... and allow Bentley to continue to produce cars with the sort of style and graceful pace that we knew and loved.
Ian Fleming would turn in his grave.
bobberz17 Feb 2013
Is it the Speed that James May rallied in the recent Top Gear episode?
I actually like the Conti's, but I wish they'd do a bit more to distinguish the more "special" variants. I'm pretty good at identifying cars on the road, but geez, the whole Conti range looks identical!
Nomenclature is confusing, too. So the SuperSports was the "fastest Bentley ever" of the previous generation, but now the Speed is the fastest ever; even faster than the SuperSports, but does the different name mean it's not intended to sit atop the Bentley heap?
Will it sit between the "regular" W12 Conti & a Mk2 SuperSports in the pipeline? Is there even a "regular" W12 Conti any more, or are all W12s "Speeds" now that they have the V8 as the "base" model?
morerush16 Feb 2013
I reckon it will be based on the Q7 platform.
...especially as it looks a bit lik a "Bentleyfied" Q7 in that photo !