But Brexit uncertainty means it might not be built in Britain
Jim Holder
6 December 2016

Bentley is poised to launch a new line of two-seat sports cars based on the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept car that was first revealed at the Geneva motor show in 2015 - but boss Wolfgang Durheimer has revealed there is a possibility it will not be built in Britain, unless there is more clarity in Brexit negotiations in the coming months.

Durheimer is seeking board approval to push the sports car - which would rival two-seaters from Aston Martin, Ferrari and McLaren and be priced alongside the Bentley Continental from around £150,000 - to production. He expects a decision midway through 2017.

“If we can add a third model line alongside the Continental and Bentayga, then Bentley will be on a very sound footing for the future,” said Durheimer. “The goal is to build a solid, sustainable business and having all of these lines would allow us to maintain volume in as model cycles are renewed.”

Durheimer refused to specify what the third model would be, but it is widely expected to be a two-seater based on the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept car, for which pre-engineering work is believed to have begun. Sources suggest it could reach production by 2019 - but Durheimer made it clear that Brexit was making negotiations with the VW board hard.

“They want to know about stable plans - and at the moment there is no stability around Brexit,” said Durheimer, who is due to meet government officials next week to discuss Brexit strategy and his investment plans. “I cannot delay progress for Bentley, even if that means building cars outside of Britain - Bentley’s growth must come first, and building in Britain second.”

Read our review of the Bentley Bentayga diesel

At the time of its reveal Durheimer described EXP 10 Speed 6 as “offering thrilling, driver-orientated performance, complete with trademark modern Bentley luxury and effortlessness.”

It is expected the car would be based on a version of the MSB flexible architecture of Bentley’s Volkswagen Group parent, but have a wheelbase that is approximately 100-120mm shorter than that of the Continental GT, and a much sharper driver focus.

“What I can tell you is that the new car will be younger and more exciting than anything in our line-up,” said Durheimer. “It will appeal to a completely new kind of customer.”

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Comments
12

6 December 2016
This scenario may be one of the many Brexit-related corporate decision making stumbling blocks for overseas-owned British companies. If it is not resolve quickly, more goods and services may be outsourced overseas.

de_design2  l  Exclusively Bespoke®

6 December 2016
DdWorks. If a company is overseas owned, then there is no 'British' company, just a British legal construct around the local assembly plant of a foreign company. Nonetheless Bentley buyers like to believe their VW-in-drag is a continuing British tradition and they will go on wanting to believe. Which is why this Bentley will be built in Britain alongside its VW siblings and these silly threats will amount to Jack.

7 December 2016
I agree that there is no 'British' in an overseas owned British company. However how sure are you that the EXP 9 will be built in Britain?

de_design2  l  Exclusively Bespoke®

7 December 2016
Correction: EXP10

de_design2  l  Exclusively Bespoke®

6 December 2016
its cars already had a sharp 'driver focus'. *shrugs* Oh well.

6 December 2016
Sounds like bargaining for a government grant to me.

6 December 2016
when they should be built in the Uk the w 12 engine is now uk assembled.He should tell the VW Board to manufacture in the Uk to aVOID THE 30% IMPORT DUTY THAT WE COULD PUT ON IMPORTS ,WE DO NOT HAVE TO ADHERE TO WORLD TRADE RULES.I wouls say if we have to pay a fee to the Eu to be in the open market they should pay a bigger fee to gain access to ours.

7 December 2016
Hey Ski kid, just shouting at foreigners in trade negotiations does not get you very far. You need to join the real world.

7 December 2016
Ferraris, Maseratis, Lamborghinis, and Alfa Romeos are not made outside Italy. The only time Aston Martin tried making a car outside Britain it wasn't a sales success, (The Rapide). If I'm spending that much money to buy a piece of 'Britishness' I expect it to be made in Britain, in the same way that I expect my sparkling wine to be champagne from France and my caviar to be genuine Beluga. It might be alright for the Germans to make their trucks in America, it's closest to their biggest market and they are arguably more 'BMW' or 'Mercedes Benz' than they are German. Buying a marque like Bentley means buying,(at not inconsiderable expense), into buying British. Otherwise what's the point? If I'm not buying into all that history and heritage and paying a LOT for it I might as well buy a cheaper brand like Audi. Part of what I pay extra for is exactly WHAT I pay extra for.

7 December 2016
Third model line? Surely it would be the fourth as they have the Mulsanne family too
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