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Auto blogTue, 23 Apr 2013 10:44:00 EST
Bentley may be all hot and bothered with plans for its finally approved ultra-lux SUV, but the marque's attentions may not solely be limited to a two-box range expansion. That's according to AutoExpress, which quotes company CEO Wolfgang Schreiber as being interested in launching a 'four-door coupe' variant of its popular Continental range (pictured). According to Schrieber, "I definitely wouldn't say no to the idea... with the new Flying Spur, we have a model that supports the Mulsanne, and a coupe with four doors could sit below that."
The more rakish sedan isn't tipped to launch before 2016 - the brand will be too busy launching the Flying Spur and furthering work on the as-yet-unnamed SUV to pull ahead the project. The plan would appear to make a lot of sense, as the additional bodystyle on the back of the Continental platform would likely command more money than the rest of the line (see also: Mercedes-Benz CLS and BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe) while basically just being a new top hat on an existing architecture. This isn't the first time AutoExpress has promulgated this Bentley 4DC idea, however. Back in 2010, it offered a similar report, but at that point, it anticipated the model would be cheaper than the Continental, suggesting it would be based on a platform shared with the Audi A7.
AutoExpress notes the additional model would help Bentley achieve its ambitious sales targets to drive from last year's 8,510 units sold to 15,000 by 2018, though most of that volume still figures to come from the new utility vehicle.
It looks like the addition of a Royal Baby isn't the only big news coming out of the UK this week. Bentley has ended all of the will they/won't they speculation by confirming today that it will produce an SUV. Earmarked to go on sale in 2016, the as-yet unnamed Bentley SUV will help create an extra 1,000 jobs in the UK.
While no concrete details have been released, Bentley says that it will be the "most luxurious and most powerful SUV" on the market. Past rumors have indicated that the SUV could look completely different from the 2012 EXP 9 F Concept shown above, be renamed the Falcon and offer options like a plug-in hybrid version and three-row seating. To prepare for a fourth model in its lineup, Bentley will be investing 800 million British pounds (around $1.2 billion USD) into its Crewe headquarters and production lines over the next three years. Scroll down for Bentley's press release officially confirming the new SUV.
Sure, this looks largely like an Audi Q7. What if we told you, though, that it was actually a Bentley? This may be one of the very first sets of images we've seen of the aristocratic brand's SUV. Based on the borrowed Audi bodywork, however, testing appears to be in the early stages.
While it may look like an Audi Q7, there are a number of giveaways. One of the more subtle are the British number plates, in place of the traditional German plates that would be found were this a mule for the next Q7. Other changes are more noticeable. According to our spies, this mule is much wider, while its fenders have also been enlarged to accommodate larger wheels and tires.
Out back, four exhaust pipes jut out from the lower fascia, while larger brakes are hidden behind black wheels. The big indicator that this is something special, though, can be seen in the front fascia. The heavily modified front clip is home to two massive intakes below the headlights. According to our spies, these conceal a pair of intercoolers. Whether they are for Bentley (and Audi's) twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter V8 or the 6.0-liter W12 is unclear.