• Nov 24, 2009
Bentley Continental Supersports – Click above for high-res image gallery

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]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 16 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      DON'T. DOWNMARKET.
      It WILL hurt Bentley in the long run.
      An expensive shooting brake could work.
      A crossover? Heck no.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I reckon a slightly less expensive niche Bentley would sell like hot-cakes.

      If my memory serves me right, there isn't a shooting-brake available from any car maker... and shooting-brakes are much more versatile than coupes.

      Do any of you guys remember the Reliant Scimitar shooting-brake... well, imagine Bentleys 2010 interpretation of that 1960's niche classic.

      http://www.scimitardriver.co.uk/prod03.htm .

      I reckon the crossover will be a slightly longer 5 door version offering more space & practicality.

      Both guaranteed winners IMO. The shooting-brake will become the new "it car" .

      M.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow. And to think people were ticked at them for diluting the Bentley spirit with the Continental GT. I swear to God if anyone who railed against the Cayenne says one good thing about that crossover, I will freak out on them. I'd rather have a Porsche Toureg than a Bentley Allroad any day.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Rolls Royce is wokring on something nicknamed the SHRIMP? That's bad as hell.
      HotRodzNKustoms
      • 5 Years Ago
      I personally think the Continental line is almost too downmarket for Bentley. Having had a Turbo R in the garage growing up I guess I would say such a thing. Bentley is supposed to be a niche of a niche, people who want a Rolls Royce but like spirited driving as well. Maybe the world isn't fit for people that believe the OHV 6 3/4 litre V8 is the only motor that should be in a Bentley.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @HotRodzNKustoms
        Exactly! Get a big German saloon if you want a cheaper car and leave Bentley alone
      • 5 Years Ago
      first was porche down marketin.. but bently too.. sigh...
      • 5 Years Ago
      You only have to look at Packard to see what going downmarket will do for you.
      • 5 Years Ago
      and also....

      ...IMO Bentley will hand build the engines - even if they don't design an all new power plant for these new models and end up heavily adapting an existing VW/Audi group unit, Bentley will want to maintain there hand built premium reputation to justify there prices and not dilute the history of the brand..

      M.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Bad mistake. The fact that there are no downmarket Bentleys is the only real thing that separates a Bentley from an S-class.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Is there such a thing as a "good mistake"?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Speaking of which, this commenting system could use some work....
      • 5 Years Ago
      A Bentley shooting brake is called a Range Rover.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Paefgen opposed the Q7 for being a SUV?! The Q7 looks more like a heightened A6 wagon to me, not like an actual SUV.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Given Paefgen's history (leading audi to record profits, and now Bentley to record profits) I'm guessing he thought there wasn't significant enough a business case to build the Q7.
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