Bentley is quietly examining the possibility of a new entry-level model to slot in underneath the brand’s current Continental GT lineup. Known internally as NCB for New Compact Bentley, it could debut as early as 2014 in two forms. The first vehicle would be what is often referred to as a Shooting Brake (an elongated hatchback-like sports car with two doors and a 2+2 seating arrangement). The second vehicle would be a crossover based on the same platform.
According to a report by Automobile Magazine, the NCB would still be large and luxurious and heavy – just not quite so much as the current vehicles. If brought to market it would be still around the 5,000 lb mark riding on a version of the next Audi A6/A7 platform, cost over $100,000 and use a V8 engine – likely a twin-turbo 4.0-liter unit.
In regards to the crossover version, it would offer the driving dynamics of a car with a more bold SUV-look, in order to target key markets like in the U.S. and Middle-East. The report also suggests Rolls-Royce is considering a similar vehicle, internally referred to as Shrimp (short high rugged international metropolitan project).
Earlier this year Aston Martin attempted to revive the Lagonda marque with an SUV-based concept car that debuted at the Geneva Auto Show, but it was met with such criticism that the British automaker decided to cancel the project.
[Source: Automobile Magazine]