Bentley has just supplanted the Jurassic-era Arnage with the new Mulsanne, which in turn will breed replacements for the Brooklands and Azure. A new Continental range is on the way as well. But according to a new report from Automobile Magazine, the crew from Crewe isn't content simply replacing existing models: they want to branch out. And when their heads are already scraping the sky, Bentley is reportedly looking at going downmarket with two new niche models.
Tentatively known as the New Compact Bentley (NCB) project, the luxury automaker hopes to cover new territory in the $110-130,000 range in two forms: a three-door shooting brake and a segment-busting crossover. The latter would be more of a tall wagon than a sport-ute, as Automobile notes that Bentley chief Franz-Josef Paefgen was responsible for the original Audi Allroad but opposed the Q7.
Platform underpinnings for both would reportedly be based loosely on the next-gen Audi A6/A7 flexible architecture and powered by an Audi-based 4.5-liter twin-turbo V8 driving somewhere in the neighborhood of 550 horsepower through all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Production would reportedly be pegged around 7500 units annually, but Bentley might find it doesn't have the market all to itself, as Rolls-Royce is said to be working on a Ghost-based crossover of its own known as the "Short High Rugged International Metropolitan Project" – or SHRIMP for short.
[Source: Automobile Magazine]