Bentley may have just launched its full-size Mulsanne sedan, but it’s already in the planning stages for its next generation Continental. The British automaker is now reportedly considering a hatchback Continental to compete with the likes of the Porsche Panamera.
Bentley first introduced its Continental range in 2003 with the two-door Continental GT, but it wasn’t until 2005 that the automaker launched the four-door Continental Flying Spur, followed shortly thereafter by a two-door convertible version, the GTC. According to Autocar, the Crewe-based automaker is planning its attack for the next generation Continental series, and Bentley executives believe there would be a demand for a hatchback version of the Flying Spur to compete with Porsche’s successful Panamera.
Earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show, we set our eyes on the two-door hatchback Continental GT crafted by Italian design house Touring Superleggera, which set out to build no more than 20 examples of its “Flying Star” hatch. With Porsche dealers unable to keep Panameras on their lots, Bentley likely has been prompted to act quickly.
We expect the next generation Continental to premiere initially as a GT, sometime in 2012. The same 552-horsepower, 478 pound-feet of torque 6.0-liter W-12 is expected to remain intact, along with its all-wheel-drive setup. Engineers are reportedly working to remove some of the heft found on current Continentals without diminishing comfort.
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