"For 100 years we have tried to make engines bigger and more powerful. For the next 10 years, we're going to try and make them disappear. For the putative Bentayga-plus SUV, that would almost certainly mean a plug-in-hybrid powertrain, as Bentley has committed to offering a hybrid option on every model by 2023."
These words by Adrian Hallmark, Bentley's Oga-on-top, open a new chapter for Bentley's popular SUV the Bentayga, even as it sounds the death knell to some of its iconic brands, especially the Bentley Mulsanne. Shocks are still reverberating across the Autoworld as enthusiasts, dealers and buyers consider the ramifications of Bentley's recent decision to discontinue its super-luxury sedan, the Bentley Mulsanne.
The Mulsanne symbolized luxury and class like few cars do, but will no longer be continued
>>> This is how the news broke about the Mulsanne: Bentley ditches Linda Ikeji’s Mulsanne model due to slow sales and high demand for SUVs
Now, it appears another Bentley sedan, as some hoped, may not be replacing the Mulsanne after all. Instead, Bentley is pursuing upgrades on its very successful Bentayga sports utility vehicle, the Bentayga-Plus. Looking at the market dynamics, it's understandable why Bentley should feel driven in this direction. The Mulsanne was rested on account of the poor volume in sales. For instance, recently Linda Ikeji made news by claiming to be the sole owner of the ₦10 million-plus model in Lagos.
Adrian Hallmark buttresses this fact:
"In the good old days, 20 years ago, when the Arnage was on the road with the [Rolls-Royce] Silver Seraph, global four-door sales in this part of the market were about 1500 to 2000 a year combined," he said. "Now they are less than 1000, and we are 50 percent of that."
Oh, a lot of folks are going to miss this car! See the amazing features in the video:
The World’s Ultra-Luxurious Sedan 2020 - Bentley Mulsanne W.O Mulliner
On the other hand, SUV sales have never been better worldwide and continue to boom. With the state of Nigerian roads (although with road construction happening around the country, hopefully, that improves soon), it's a no brainer that the Bentayga-plus may find a more receptive market among Nigerians than was the fate of the Mulsanne. Going forward, Bentley claims that to sustain and make worthwhile the expense of another luxury sedan, sales would have to be a minimum of 5000 units annually. Sadly, their most optimistic soundings hover at around 600 per year.
Bentayga's upgrade, the Bentayga-plus could be the car Bentley is counting on to replace the Mulsanne
Additionally, Bentley is planning that the SUVs that fill the luxury space left by the Mulsanne will be sans the latter's W-12 engine. Instead, a Hybrid may be in the offing for the carmaker's latest cars. Bentley expects that its first solely electrical car or EV, could be as near- or far- as 2025.
>>> You can keep up with the latest automotive developments at News on naijauto.com