Bentley CEO wants model variants to proliferate to Porsche 911-like levels

You don't port over an executive from one company to another without expecting him (or her) to apply the same sort of successful formulas that brought success for his former employer to the new one. And that's certainly the case with automotive executives. Alan Mulally, for example, was tipped to do for Ford what he had done at Boeing – namely, to put the American company at the forefront of the industry – and by many accounts, he has succeeded. The same could be said for Wolfgang Dürheimer.

As executive vice-president at Porsche, Dürheimer oversaw the expansion of the 911 model into a huge range of variants that, on the outgoing version, topped over two dozen. It's a formula that has helped Porsche become one of the most profitable automakers in the industry. And according to the latest from Autocar, that's what he hopes to do with the Continental family in his new position at Bentley, over which he has presided now for less than a year.

Between three body-styles and as many engine specifications, the Continental has already spawned a good eight variants, but if Dürheimer has his way – and he is chief executive, after all – that could expand significantly on the facelifted model to include lightweight models and various special editions.

Beyond the Continental range, however, the Mulsanne could grow a long-wheelbase model (much as the Rolls-Royce Phantom has) as well as coupe and convertible versions to replace the Brooklands and Azure models, respectively. These, in addition to ongoing rumors of a four-door coupe and an SUV to join the Flying B range from Crewe.

Share This Photo X