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Bentley Shelved Sports Coupe

Bentley had designed and built a “pure” sports car that would have slotted below the Continental GT — but the company instead decided to built an SUV that was previewed by the EXP 9 F concept at the Geneva Motor Show.

After becoming CEO in early 2011, Bentley’s Wolfgang Durheimer reportedly asked the company two develop several new vehicles. The goal was to expand Bentley’s lineup from just the Mulsanne and Continental. Among the many options were an SUV and a smaller sports car — the latter of which was designed and assembled, and deemed “production feasible.”

Talking to our colleagues at Motor Trend, Durheimer said designers really wanted to build the sports car, but he decided to go ahead with the SUV that would become the EXP 9 F.

“In the end the SUV was a better idea. It sits above all its competition,” Durheimer said. “The sports car would have had the Porsche 911 Turbo as opposition.”

Durheimer used to be the chief of research and development at Porsche, so he understands how challenging it would be for Bentley to take on the 911. However, Bentley hasn’t ruled out launching a sports car in the future — the model previously developed is on display outside the office of company design director Dirk van Braeckel.

We’re not sure what to make of the Bentley decision; as driving enthusiasts, we would have preferred a sports car to the somewhat ungainly EXP 9 F. Which model do you think would be a better choice to expand the Bentley lineup? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Source: Motor Trend

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