Tuesday, 31 May 2016
TMW - The New Bentley Coupe and the Grand Mulsanne, which if either will be produced? or maybe both !
The all new Bentley that made it's debut last year was a tentative preview of what possibly could emerge after the launch of the Bentayga, well, now that car has been launched and we wonder with bated breath what Bentley has up it's sleeve for the next all new model.
The EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept was slightly criticised for being too "Aston" like, but in my opinion that is not a problem, Aston makes some of the most beautiful cars in the world, so for Bentley to have a few design cues that mimic, loosely, the Aston, this can only be seen as a positive point.
CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer has stated "We are readying the concept for decision" and that "It would come as a two-door coupe and a roadster as well, and would be launched after the next continental", the new Conti is pencilled in for a launch of 2017, so the new Bentley could make a preview slightly after that launch, and on sale late 2018.
However, Bentley is in a quandary, they have Four models currently, The Continental, The Flying Spur, The Bentayga and Mulsanne, so space is slightly limited at the Crewe facility, and yet they have two models that are fighting it out between themselves for full scale production, the EXP and the Mulsanne based convertible, or the Grand Convertible as it is currently being named.
The Mulsanne will gain a convertible on it's next generation but thats not for upwards of five years, so, would it be worth the investment to have it now, against the new coupe that would slot below the Continental, and be a rather large seller, and with it a big income earner, no brainer, or is it !
Mulliner is capable of building the Grand Convertible, freeing up space at Crewe, they could build 20-30 units at a price that would make even Roman Abramovich wince, but it would be so rare and so wanted by those with the wedge to afford it, that it would make financial sense, and the profits from this car could go someway to productionise the new car, so, a no brainer again, maybe !
The only downpoint to the Mulsanne is that the old beast of an engine that can trace it's lieage back to the 1950's will no longer be usable, and will be replaced by the W12 unit, which Bentley is now in sole control of, and will build engines for all the VW Group that will require this stonking power plant, but the old girl will not be the same, it's like giving your nan a new heart, you know she is just as good, if not better, but she is not the same, this engine, like the original Mini and the Defender are icons of motoring past that lived way past their sell by date, but we clung on to them until the last possible second, and for Bentley the time is running out.