Bentley Bypasses Sports Car For SUV

By | March 16, 2012

Benltey EXP 9

Bentley has been pretty trim in the lineup for quite some time.  With only the Mulsanne and the Continental/Flying Spur to attract potential customers, Bentley doesn’t have a broad market.  Which is why Bentley CEO, Wolfgang Durheimer, has chosen to expand the Bentley line.

When you only offer large luxury cars and grand tourers, your options of expanding your line are like bellying up to a buffet.  Bentley has the technology, pocket book, and heritage to go just about any direction they’d like in this regard too.  As we now know, the EXP 9 SUV is the chosen one that will be expanding Bentley’s line.  Why didn’t Durheimer go with the smaller sports car that was also on the design table?  Just take a look at where he came from before took over the wheel at Bentley.

Wolfgang Durheimer was previously the R&D chief at Porsche before coming to Bentley.  I would assume he chose the EXP 9 to expand the line because he knew that a small Bentley sports car would be in direct competition with the storied 911 and we all know that challenging a car with over 50 years of heritage under its belt probably isn’t the easiest place to start.

I’ve already shared my thoughts on the EXP 9 but what are your thoughts?  Did Durheimer make the right choice in bypassing a sports car for a super luxury SUV?  Personally, I think it was smart… even if you think the EXP 9 is an over fed Koala bear.

[Source: Motor Trend]


AJ Wilcox on March 16, 2012 at 2:58 pm.

Bentley shouldn’t make a light, fast, sports car. An SUV is definitely more in the right direction of where their brand fits. They’re amazing at making luxobarges that happen to accelerate REALLY fast. My only complaint is that they apparently allowed the blind interns to handle the SUV’s design.

Chance Hales on March 16, 2012 at 5:26 pm.

I agree with AJ.  Plus they could build it on the platform of the Porsche Cayenne or Audi Q7.  This design is ugly though and already been scrapped.  They are going to redesign the thing thank goodness.  Now Lambo making an SUV? NO!!!  They should make the Estoque instead.

Matthew S. Davis on March 17, 2012 at 12:48 pm.

I believe the EXP 9 is already underpinned by the Cayenne and Q7.

Chance Hales on March 17, 2012 at 1:03 pm.

It wouldn’t surprise me and it makes the most sense from a business standpoint

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