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Bentley Working Up Mulsanne Drop-Top

Could reach production about same time as Bentley SUV.

by on Aug.20, 2012

Convertibles are "intrinsic" to the brand, says Bentley, as it releases a sketch of its Mulsanne Vision Concept.

Bentley is weighing its options to add a drop-top version of its flagship Mulsanne sedan, testing the waters with a concept that could translate into production by mid-decade.

Like its most direct rival, Rolls-Royce, Bentley has traditionally offered a convertible version of its biggest, most expensive model.  But with the loss of the old Azure two years ago there’s been no ragtop option for the big Mulsanne.

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That could change, depending on reaction to the Bentley Mulsanne Vision Concept quietly unveiled at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance over the weekend.  The full-sized model was kept under strict guard – those invited in for a look even had to surrender their cellphones to ensure no pictures leaked out, though Bentley has now provided a rough, early sketch.


Bentley Reveals EXP 9 F Luxury SUV

Continental GTC V8 Convertible also debuts in Geneva.

by on Mar.06, 2012

Bentley rolls the EXP 9 F SUV concept into Geneva.

Luxury makers normally dribble out new products from an eyedropper, but Bentley’s got a big year going, as it demonstrated today with the launch of two new offerings at the Geneva Motor Show – notably including the maker’s first-ever sport-utility vehicle.

Technically, the Bentley EXP 9 F is a concept vehicle, but don’t let that fool you.  The British maker’s CEO Wolfgang Durheimer has made it abundantly clear that this project is his top priority and will come to market before the down-market sedan that had been favored by his predecessor.

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And with the apparent support of Bentley’s German parent, Volkswagen AG, it is expected to offer a production version of the EXP 9 F with an assortment of drivetrains that could include the marque’s familiar W12, its new V-8 and even a plug-in hybrid.

That new V8, incidentally, is also playing a starring role in Geneva this year – here under the hood of Bentley’s new GTC convertible.  The 8-banger is a key part of the luxury brand’s bid to drive up its less than stellar fuel economy.


First Look: 2012 Bentley Continental GTC

Power to the (very wealthy) people.

by on Aug.24, 2011

Bentley bills the 2012 Continental GTC as a "super car you can use every day."

There are plenty of big changes underway at Bentley, as recently reported, with the maker preparing a new SUV, developing a plug-in hybrid and beginning work on a diesel – but that doesn’t mean the British luxury marque has forgotten its more mainstream offerings.  Quite the opposite, as it reveals the second generation of its Continental GTC convertible.

It’s part of a dramatic update of the entire Bentley line-up, in fact, that began with the introduction of the all-new Mulsanne flagship, and last year’s redesign of the smaller but critical Continental GT sports coupe.

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We got our first look at the new cabriolet during a private showing at last weekend’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, “no better place in the world,” for the unveiling, suggested Wolfgang Durheimer, the new Bentley CEO and the man leading the big changes planned for the brand.