At a little more than 202 inches in length, the Bentley Bentayga is pretty big. At the same time, it isn’t nearly as long as its main competitor, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan. Nor is it anywhere close to the same length as the much less expensive Lincoln Navigator L. Soon, though, Bentley may have a solution for that: a new SUV that’s even bigger than the Bentayga.
For the last several years, we’ve heard rumors that a smaller Bentley SUV may be on its way, but when Autocar recently spoke with Werner Tietz, Bentley’s head of engineering, he made it sound like Bentley actually plans to do the opposite. After explaining that Bentley planned to double down on grand tourers, Tietz said, “There is some potential when you look at SUVs too, especially around a car larger than the Bentayga if you consider its value to the Chinese and American markets. So, yes, that is one opportunity we are exploring. Bigger cars are an interesting avenue for Bentley—for now, we are not thinking about doing anything smaller, as that’s not what we’re about.”
Tietz didn’t elaborate further on Bentley’s decision to abandon the rumored Baby Bentayga, nor did he give Autocar more details on potential plans for a larger SUV. But it does make sense for Bentley to offer more than one SUV. The Bentayga is easily the most popular nameplate in the Bentley lineup, accounting for 4,072 of the 9,115 vehicles Bentley built last year. And even though sales were up almost 11 percent in the Asia-Pacific region last year, overall sales were down more than 13 percent. The rollout of the redesigned Continental GT likely contributed to that sales drop, but the Bentayga’s popularity shows ultra-luxury SUVs are the real recipe for success.
Whether Bentley’s larger SUV will get a third row or not still remains to be seen, but hopefully we’ll hear more at the New York Auto Show later this month.