Bentley has revealed first images and a video of its next Flying Spur, which will be unveiled later this year.
The Crewe-based car maker described itself as “innovating beyond the existing boundaries of performance, refinement and luxury with the introduction of an all-new four-door Grand Tourer”.
The luxury saloon, which is expected to be called by a new name, is the firm’s answer to rivals such as the Rolls-Royce Ghost and Mercedes-Maybach S600.
While it has commonly been known as the four-door sibling to the Continental GT – and will continue to be closely related under the skin – it is understood that the Flying Spur will have a far more distinctive design, intended to make it stand alone as a model in its own right.
As hinted at in the sketch and video revealed today, the model’s styling will follow the themes of the Continental GT but has more distinct surfaces and sharper swage lines.
The latest Continental GT launched early last year, and the maker recently unveiled the V8 variant and the GT Convertible.
A full range of engines is expected to be launched on the next Flying Spur, including Bentley’s V8 and W12 petrol options, and a plug-in hybrid based around a V6 petrol engine instead of going down the diesel route. Hybrid options will be key in bolstering Bentley’s sales in China in particular. In time, a Speed variant will crown the range. It will feature a higher-performance engine that will also be used in the Continental GT and GT Convertible.
Once the Continental range has been completed, the firm will turn its focus to what Autocar understands will be a next step in its design, promising a more radical change to something more fresh and modern. It is Bentley’s centenary year, and a host of celebrations in July will include a concept reveal which is expected to showcase this change in design direction.
Bentley, under the tenure of boss Adrian Hallmark, who joined last year from Jaguar Land Rover, is finalising its broader model strategy for the next few years, which is expected to focus on grand touring models and SUVs rather than sports cars.