Bentley Believes Bigger Bentayga Could Benefit Brand

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
bentley believes bigger bentayga could benefit brand

Bentley Motors’ initial attempt at an SUV did wonders for its volume. While its status as an automaker catering exclusively to the rich keeps annual production totals exceptionally low, the Bentayga now accounts for almost half of its total output. After the model’s introduction in 2016, the Bentley’s annual deliveries shot up 33 percent in Europe.

That wasn’t a coincidence.

Ever since Porsche’s massive success with the Cayenne (introduced in 2002, if you can believe it), super-premium marques have been hunting for a way to make expensive crossovers work equally well for them. If you’re seeking supportive evidence, look no further than the Lamborghini Urus, Rolls-Royce Cullinan, Aston Martin DBX, or Ferrari Purosangue. Bentley’s Bentayga also qualifies, though the company has a slight lead over the field, giving it the opportunity continue capitalizing on the segment by introducing another model — just like Porsche did with the Macan.

While Porsche scaled its second utility vehicle down in size from the Cayenne, Bentley (which is likewise owned by Volkswagen Group) has every reason to go bigger. The brand is already synonymous with excess and the Bentayga is borderline dainty when compared to mainstream giants like the Chevrolet Suburban. Bentley just has to decide whether or not there’s actually a market for something so sizable. At 202 inches in length, the Bentayga is pretty big in relation to most other vehicles. But there are still vehicles in its own segment that are technically larger.

“I could imagine a bigger one, I could imagine a smaller one, I could imagine a coupe-type one and I could definitely imagine battery electric, but only battery electric when you get past that ’25 to ’30 period,” Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark told Automotive News this week. However, the brand has still committed itself to electrification, promising smaller, hybridized powertrains on all future models.

The CEO went on to say that battery technology has reached a level where the company feels comfortable using it on SUVs, adding that the general preference was to build a vehicle offering more of the brand was famous for — opulence. “We’d love to make an even more luxurious, even bigger Bentayga,” he explained. “Watch this space.”

Hallmark also expressed to Car & Driver that something would need to be developed to replace the Mulsanne. “Our ambition is to fill that price space for sure,” he said. “It will not be a sports car; we will not build sports cars. SUVs were 47 percent of our sales last year. If you look at the segment below us, it’s about 50 percent … the clear indication is that both premium-car buyers and luxury-car buyers now see SUVs as being far more attractive.”

[Images: Bentley]

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3 of 18 comments
  • Raydo Raydo on Mar 20, 2020

    Lots of these on the road in SoCal. They look too short in length. The brand and styling would fit well on a large SUV

  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Mar 20, 2020

    My guess is they are popular in LA because of that notorious celebrity syndrome.

    • Stuki Stuki on Mar 20, 2020

      Judging by who takes selfies in front of parked ones, I am pretty sure they have been featured in more than one rap video....

  • Chuck Norton And guys are having wide spread issues with the 10 speed transmission with the HP numbers out of the factory......
  • Zerofoo "Hyundais just got better and better during the 1990s, though, and memories of those shoddy Excels faded."Never. A friend had an early 90s Hyundai Excel as his college beater. One day he decided that the last tank of gas he bought was worth more than the car. He drove it to empty and then he and his fraternity brothers pushed it into the woods and left it there.
  • Kwik_Shift There are no new Renegades for sale within my geographic circle of up to 85 kms. Looks like the artificial shortage game. They bring one in, 10 buyers line up for it, $10,000 over MSRP. Yeah. Like with a lot of new cars.
  • Ribbedroof In Oklahoma, no less!
  • Ribbedroof Have one in the shop for minor front collision repairs right now,I've seen more of these in the comments than in the 30 years I've been in collision repair.