Posted Aug 31st 2014 6:00PM
Only halfway through the year, Bentley reports that it's on track to post record sales. Thanks in no small part to the introduction of its new V8 engine in the Continental family, sales are up nearly a quarter over last year. And they only stand to increase even more with the introduction of new models currently in the pipeline. The upcoming SUV will surely form a large part of that, but it won't be the end of the story for the storied marque.
Car and Driver reports that, after the SUV, Bentley plans to introduce a new coupe line below the Continental to square off against the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. Details are few and far between at this point, but considering how much Bentley manages to do with the relatively heft Continental GT, a lighter and more nimble sports car sounds promising.
In related news, rumours are gathering pace that Bentley is planning to introduce a new Mulsanne Speed at the upcoming Paris Motor Show, its Jurassic-era 6.75-litre V8 massaged from 505 horsepower – already the most that engine has produced in its half-century history – up to around 550.
Don't think that Bentley has given up, however, on its venerable 6.0-litre twin-turbo W-12 engine. Far from it. Car and Driver also reports that the crew from Crewe only plans to further develop the W-12, and if push came to shove, would be the "last manufacturer of 12-cylinder engines in the world." Indeed it already is among the last, although BMW/Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini, Mercedes and Ferrari aren't likely to give up on dozen-piston engines anytime soon, either... even if Aston Martin eventually does. Expect direct injection and even more powerful versions than the 616-hp Continental GT Speed to follow in the near future.