Bentley’s upcoming sports car, based on the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept, could be called Barnato when it arrives within the next three years. Auto Express can reveal a trademark for the Barnato name was filed two years ago, along with Bentayga.
The name Barnato makes reference to former Bentley chairman and three-time Bentley Le Mans 24 Hours winner Woolf Barnato, who competed in the race in 1928, 1929 and 1930. Barnato was known as one of the ‘Bentley Boys’ and remains one of few drivers to win every race entered at Le Mans.
The motorsport background associated with the name seems a more appropriate fit for a sports car such as the EXP 10 concept, but it’s understood the success of the Bentayga SUV could lead Bentley into fast-tracking the development of the coupe version, which may arrive ahead of the Barnato. An Audi Q5-sized baby SUV is also believed to be in the pipeline.
Bentley boss Wolfgang Dürheimer has also previously stated that a fully electric version of the EXP 10 is being considered for production – this would give Bentley a direct rival to the Tesla Model S. If the EV gets the green light it could be developed alongside Porsche’s upcoming Mission E, which is set to arrive before 2020.
The Barnato sports car will be a strict two-seater and sit alongside the Continental GT in Bentley’s range – meaning it could cost in the region of £130,000. “Customer response to EXP 10 Speed 6 was phenomenal, so we want to build on this and make it a reality,” Dürheimer told Auto Express last year.
“We are investing more than ever before, over 840 million Euros over three years. Our people and our products are key to our future.” The Barnato and forthcoming coupe-SUV will play a role in helping Bentley double its annual sales to 20,000 by 2020.
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