Bentley Mulsanne Convertible project is back in the mix

Work on Bentley's Mulsanne Convertible Concept, shown in this rendering, had been stalled for two years.
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Bentley's Mulsanne Convertible Concept is back on track.

Shown by Bentley CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer to a select few customers at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in 2012, the stately convertible was intended for production. But after Duerheimer's departure in 2012, his successor, Wolfgang Schreiber, killed the project.

"We will not do that car," Schreiber said at the Geneva auto show in March 2013, citing "just regional demand" and the lack of a business case.

Duerheimer returned to the Volkswagen Group's Bentley and Bugatti brands in April after less than a year as Audi's r&d chief and a brief stretch coordinating VW's motorsports activities. In February 2011, he had taken the helm at both brands for 19 months before being replaced by Schreiber.

Now that Duerheimer is back at the helm of Bentley, he has wasted no time resurrecting the convertible project.

"When I returned, I was a bit irritated by the fact that no work had been done on this project in two years," he said in Pebble Beach this month. "It is back on track."

A Mulsanne-based convertible, which could be called Azure, would target the upcoming Rolls-Royce Ghost-based convertible and the upcoming convertible version of the Mercedes-Benz S class.

You can reach Jens Meiners at jmeiners@crain.com.


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