Demand for the upcoming Bentley Bentayga has been so overwhelming that sales will easily hit targets of about 4,000 units globally, thereby increasing Bentley’s current volume by about 40 percent. The Bentley Bentayga First Edition sold out “within about five minutes,” according to one executive we spoke with at the Los Angeles auto show. On the heels of this rampant appetite for ultra-luxury SUVs, Bentley is reportedly planning not only a high-performance Bentayga with a coupe-ish body, but also the long-rumored baby Bentayga.
According to Auto Express, Bentley CEO Wolfgang Durheimer said at the Shanghai auto show in April that a smaller Bentayga was something the brand was considering. AE speculates that while the Bentayga uses the MLB platform shared with the Audi Q7, a baby Bentayga could use a new lightweight MSB platform. It would share this architecture with the upcoming Speed 6 sports car, based on the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept.
Board member for sales and marketing Kevin Rose didn’t exactly scoff at the idea of a baby Bentayga when we pressed him about it at the recent Los Angeles auto show, so it seems like the idea is still somewhat on the table. Then again, Durheimer told us point-blank in January that he “”wanted to clearly say no to the idea of a second SUV.” If he’s changed his mind since then, it’s probably because of the hearty appetite the marketplace has demonstrated for high-margin SUVs.
By now it’s clear that any Bentley SUV would be a hit, so it makes sense on paper to introduce another one if Bentley is hell-bent on hitting its sales goal of 15,000 units by 2018. With the Bentayga alone, volume will flirt with 12,000 units.
Rose also told us in L.A. that there was “certainly room for a high-performance version” of the Bentley Bentayga, and Auto Express says it will come next year in the form of a super-Bentayga coupe. Like other coupe-ish SUVs such as the BMW X6M and copycat Mercedes-Benz GLE63 AMG Coupe, it’s safe to expect the super-Bentayga will sacrifice some rear cargo space and headroom in favor of a sporty fastback rear window. Four doors and four seats will still be offered. In addition to an even stouter version of the Bentayga’s 600-hp W-12, it promises to be more aerodynamic, dropping the beefy SUV into the sub-four-second range for its sprint from 0-60 mph. A 200-mph top speed isn’t impossible, either.
If Bentley has proven anything with the controversial Bentayga, it’s that if they build it, people will come. Bentley tells us that the Bentayga is attracting about as many brand loyals as it is new customers, so we have no doubt that both a high-performance Bentayga or a baby Bentayga would strike a popular chord.