Why Bentley Needs a Four-Door Coupe

As a car brand, Bentley is a bit of a cliche, a stiff upper lipped, "handcrafted", ye' old traditions… shepherd's pie. That doesn't sound like much of a problem, but actually nobody wants to buy an expensive cliche and drive it around town, not when the German alternatives are so good, so sober and in tune with the times.
Audi gives us LED headlights that adapt to the road, Mercedes gives us suspension that thinks and BMW puts Star Wars into perspective with laser headlights. Bentley have nothing none of that, but they do have a cool Audi V8 engine and a coupe that rappers like. I know that sounds harsh but it's the truth, generalized and exaggerated, but still the truth.

Bentley calls the Continental GT its bread and butter car, and I think that's unfair. It's more like a Walkman or iPhone – without it, I struggle to see Bentley existing at all.

Recently, I've caught a whiff of what they're cooking next, that SUV. Bentley might finally have caught up with the times and, with a little bit of help from Audi, might actually grow a strong backbone. So where does that leave the Continental GT and GTC?

I think you guys know where I'm going with this. Bentley is going to have to replace its two-door cars sooner or later and I'm not convinced they should keep the current setup, even though tradition is important.

Right as I speak, the brand new GT V8 S is being prepared for its customer launch. It costs about £9,000 more than the V8, comes with a bit more power and different touches here and there to make it look cool. I'd really buy the car if I had the money, though knowing full well that it's nothing more than a stop gap, a bit of paper tossed under a leg to stop the table from rocking.

You can cover everything in leather, but you can't hide the fact that the ergonomics come from a car designed with the 2000s in mind. I'm not just talking about the driver's point of view because the biggest problem is access to the back seats. What's the point of making a heavy, big car for 2+2 if the +2 in your entourage have to be contortionists with the Cirque du Soleil to get in the back.

That's exactly why Bentley should +2 a couple of doors on their next GT, either as standard or as an extra model in the series, like BMW did with the 6 Series Gran Coupe. Demand for 4-door coupes has already pushed just about every company into the segment, so the flying B has to come out fighting and do it soon in my opinion. Compromising with two small reverse-hinged doors isn't even an option, not when Mercedes' CLS sits atop the market mocking its competitors.

I know what you're thinking: "but the Flying Spur has four door". Except that only appeals to dictators who own gold plated guns and have leopards as pets. Four-door coupes and sedans are not the same thing, especially in this class. One is driver-centric, the other passenger-obsessed, one is sporty the other an office on wheels.

I suppose I could be wrong, but then clarity often looks like lunacy and the other way around. Which is why I want to know what you guys think. Is the niche more important than the car you bring to it? Should the Flying B spread another pair of wings to keep afloat?
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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