Volkswagen’s high-end luxury brand has changed tack, and is once again considering a coupe and convertible based on the Bentley Mulsanne.
In an interview with Auto Express, Bentley CEO, Wolfgang Durheimer, said, “I’m truly convinced that we have a lot of opportunities with our existing model lines. In Crewe [Bentley’s headquarters] you used to see a very nice convertible called Azure. I hear from our customers that there is remarkable demand for a car like this, and if we do the Azure, the Brooklands [coupe] just comes automatically.”
The Azure convertible and Brooklands coupe ceased production back in 2010. Based on the Arnage, the Mulsanne’s predecessor, they featured Bentley’s 6.75-litre V8 driving the rear wheels.
Durheimer’s comments directly contradict statements made by previous Bentley CEO Wolfgang Schreiber. During Schreiber’s tenure at Bentley’s helm, the company axed plans to produce a Mulsanne coupe and convertible because Schreiber believed that its appeal would be limited to the US and parts of Europe, meaning that the business case did not stack up.
Instead Bentley chose to focus its attention on developing an SUV. This car has been spied on the road, teased numerous times, and will finally enter production in 2016 with a 12-cylinder engine with between 430kW and 485kW of power. A 470kW plug-in hybrid version will join the range in 2017 and offer up to 50km of electric-only driving.