The British luxury brands have started their cold war all over again. Rolls Royce CEO drew first blood by referring to the Audi Q7 underpinnings of the Bentley Bentayga.
The Bentley Bentayga is a massive success for the brand. It’s selling like hot cakes all over the world and has become the global smash hit that Bentley wanted it to be. The sales success of the super-luxury SUV has even prompted Land Rover to draw up plans to create a proper rival version of the Range Rover which can compete with the Bentley.
But not everyone is impressed with the Bentley Bentayga like the long line of satisfied customers and even competitor like Land Rover. Rolls Royce for instance, doesn’t seem to be enthralled at all. The CEO of Rolls Royce called out the Audi Q7 underpinnings of the Bentayga and a report on Automotive News Europe has the man’s words. Torsten Müller-Ötvös says,
"We are not using mass-manufactured body shells. That limits what you can do on the design side, and it undermines exclusivity massively. You don’t want a camouflaged [Audi] Q7 in that segment. You want to have a true Rolls-Royce."
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The man does have a point, regardless of being a bit mean there. Volkswagen Group which owns both Audi and Bentley did take a route which saw the Bentley Bentayga borrowing its underpinnings from the robust Audi Q7. While there is nothing wrong in that, especially since platform-sharing is a sensible practice which has proven to be cost-efficient and effective, Rolls Royce views that as a path which kills the new product’s exclusivity. Plus, it also limits the designers and engineers from making something more special.
The Rolls Royce CEO’s Q7 reference is a direct attack on the VW Group and the Bentayga in particular. Since the upcoming Rolls Royce Cullinan is built on a platform which was created exclusively for Rolls Royce, they do have the right to celebrate the credentials of their “high-sided, all-terrain” vehicle as something special and unique. It wasn’t borrowing things from a shared universe, you see.
The Rolls Royce Cullinan will take a couple of years to reach dealers as testing is still underway. The Bentley Bentayga has all the time in the world to continue raking in strong sales during that window. Plus, as much as many despised the way it looks when the Bentayga debuted, the luxury yacht’s stellar sales have been powered by its impeccable luxury features, strong mechanical underpinnings and superlative performance. So opting for the Audi Q7 platform wasn’t a bad thing at all.
Source: Automotive News Europe