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Bentley plans to add 4-seat sports car, crossover to lineup

Bentley plans to borrow from the platform underpinning the Cayenne SUV.
(Credit: Porsche)

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif.–Bentley Motors is looking to add a four-seat sports car and a crossover vehicle to its lineup, using borrowed platforms from Volkswagen Group siblings Porsche and Audi, its top executive said.

In an interview here, Bentley CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer said the crossover would borrow from the Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne platforms. While the crossover may carry a V-12 engine like the rest of the Bentley lineup, Duerheimer said, “not everyone needs to have a V-12.”

Duerheimer, who oversaw Porsche’s push into SUVs as the company’s development chief, said he “knows what is possible” in bringing a luxury brand into new segments.

“This car will not be made from scratch,” he said. “But you can use existing components with different settings and calibrations.”

The crossover should arrive in 2014.

“The question is the overall configuration of the car,” Duerheimer said. “While responsibility for a certain component can be somewhere else, the systems architecture will be Bentley. The command position, the packaging, design, and suspension of the car will be typically Bentley.”

Duerheimer had less to say about a future four-seat sports car bearing the Bentley badge. The car will be “contemporary, fast, and futuristic,” he said.

Bentley’s design studio has created “flashy” drawings of a concept vehicle, he said, and the sports car will maintain Bentley’s traditional front-end styling.

Bentley has access to VW Group for platforms and component sets, but Duerheimer declined to say if the Bentley would be based on Porsche 911 or Audi R8 underpinnings. He also declined to give projected timing or pricing for the sports car.

(Source: Automotive News)

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