Bentley’s Mulsanne bows out at the end of 2020, with the automaker having launched the Mulsanne 6.75 Edition in January to mark the end of the flagship sedan’s run.
It means Bentley will soon be without a model to challenge the Rolls-Royce Phantom, but CEO Adrian Hallmark revealed in a recent interview that the automaker has plans to eventually fill the void.
Speaking with Car and Driver in an interview published on Tuesday, Hallmark said that whatever comes next won’t be a sedan and hinted that it might actually be an SUV.
“SUVs were 47 percent of our sales last year; if you look at the segment below us, it’s about 50 percent,” he said. “So the clear indication is that both premium car buyers and luxury car buyers now see SUVs as being far more attractive.”
Bentley Mulsanne 6.75 Edition
In contrast, he said that global demand for sedans in the segment that the Mulsanne competes has been declining and now sits at about 1,000 units per year, with the market split almost evenly between the Mulsanne and Phantom. Developing a new sedan that might only sell between 400 and 600 units per year is difficult to justify, he said.
Bentley is in no rush to fill the void of the Mulsanne. The automaker’s next major launch will be an EV due around the middle of the decade, with the new flagship to follow.
In his interview with Car and Driver, Hallmark also said that Bentley will phase out its 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W-12 engine relatively soon.
“For 100 years we have tried to make engines bigger and more powerful,” he said. “For the next 10 years we’re going to try and make them disappear.”