Bentley is considering adding a Porsche Panamera-rivalling five-door fastback to the next-generation Continental range.
Sources at the highest level of the Crewe manufacturer say that the firm is considering whether there will be demand for more versions over the coupé, convertible and Flying Spur saloon. A five-door fastback in the style of the Panamera is believed to be the most favoured extra version.
However, a senior source was quick to point out that a large, sporty hatch wouldn’t be at the expense of a traditional four-door saloon, for which there is still huge demand.
Italian styling house Touring Superleggera has plans to sell 20 examples of its coachbuilt Continental Flying Star (pictured), a three-door shooting brake version of the current model. But it’s thought that Bentley would prefer to offer five-door practicality.
The first of the new-generation Continentals is likely to be a replacement for the GT coupé, likely to go on sale in 2012. Previous reports have indicated that it will maintain a four-wheel drive chassis and a 12-cylinder engine going through a traditional torque converter automatic gearbox.
Bentley engineers are also currently working hard to ensure that the next-gen model loses weight over the current version without sacrificing comfort and refinement. Insiders also say that some of the technical modifications given to the current Supersports versions will find their way onto all future Continentals.
Styling isn’t thought to be radically different, though. Bentley boss Franz-Josef Pfaegen has recently referred to the Continental as “our 911”, indicating that a future model will have evolutionary styling.