Bentley Wants a Hypercar for Its Centenary, Could Be Cancelled Due to Dieselgate Scandal

In 2019, Bentley will be celebrating 100 years of car making, an occasion just as good as others to bring out a bespoke model that would have a dizzying price tag. That seems to have been the plan all along.
Bentley EXP 10 speed concept 1 photo
Photo: Bentley
In a recent interview with Top Gear, Wolfgang Durheimer, the CEO of Bentley and Bugatti, said that “our centenary would be a good time to create a new limited series car”. A clearer hint to what that may suggest couldn’t have been offered.

No further details about the car were provided but some idea of how it would turn up could be noticed in the speech of the CEO. He mentioned that the price tag should be at least 1 million British pounds which would be around $2.2 million at today’s exchange rates.

Furthermore, more than one version would be offered with the standard one costing one million and an ‘enhanced, lightweight’ version probably being considerably more expensive. The goal was to launch it by 2019 which is a rather tight schedule to be honest.

The decision will come in the next months after all options will be seriously considered but in light of the new dieselgate fiasco, things might take a turn for the worse.

You see, developing a hypercar costs incredible amounts of money. Even though prices will make sure (in most cases) that the company launching the car will make a profit eventually, you still need research and development money up front to get it done.

Since Bentley is part of the Volkswagen Group, their funds might get a serious cut shortly. The parent company might be forced to pay at least $18 billion in fines for cheating on its diesel emission tests and has another €6.5 billion set aside for a proper recall for all of its 11 million affected units.

On top of that, the shares took a dive on the stock market this week, the losses being added up to over $20 billion this week alone. With such grave hits, it would be a wonder if any car gets research money shortly, let alone a Bentley hypercar.

You also need to keep in mind that the Bugatti Veyron successor’s launch is coming up fast and if the Bentley alternative may be optional, the Chiron is not as the car already received massive investments and is about to be revealed. Sure, the amount of cash needed to complete it is not as big as what the Crewe engineers would need but still, it’s an investment nonetheless.

In light of this new scandal, a lot of Volkswagen’s future projects may be canned and that’s not good news for anyone, including its sub-brands.
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