New Continental GTs aluminium panels will be stamped at the Volkswagen Groups Bratislava plant, then sent to Leipzig where the body-in-white will be produced by Porsche before heading to England for assembly by Bentley

New Continental GT's aluminium panels will be stamped at the Volkswagen Group's Bratislava plant, then sent to Leipzig where the body-in-white will be produced by Porsche before heading to England for assembly by Bentley

After reviewing Volkswagen, Škoda and SEAT, and with Audi and Porsche still to come, just-auto's series on the future models of the Volkswagen Group now turns to the three smallest volume luxury brands.

Bentley

The luxury marque needs more volume if it is ever to become self-funding. With that in mind, Volkswagen is keen to have its rival for BMW Group's Rolls-Royce add a smaller SUV to the current line-up in 2020. BY635 (codename) would be cheaper than the Bentayga and probably become Bentley's cheapest model.

In April 2014, Wolfgang Schreiber, the chairman and CEO of Bentley Motors, told the media: "There is no doubt that plug-in hybrid technology is true to Bentley's values of outstanding luxury and effortless performance. Combining our renowned engines with electric power reinforces and enhances both principles, and so we will gradually introduce this powertrain across our model range. By the end of the decade, at least 90% of our production will be available as a plug-in hybrid."

Bentley's annual sales should be above 20,000, possibly 25,000 a year by 2020.

Once this model is added, Bentley's annual sales should be above 20,000, possibly 25,000 a year by 2020.

Priced from GBP132,800 in its home market, the Flying Spur is the least expensive model in the current four-vehicle Bentley line-up, undercutting the Bentayga by some GBP3,000.

This huge, hefty sedan had its global debut at the Geneva motor show in March 2013. It is more or less a new body and upgraded engine on the previous car's platform. The model name was shortened from the former Continental Flying Spur.

The Spur was launched with a standard 616bhp 6.0-litre biturbo W12 engine, linked to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. Torque was quoted as being 800Nm. Even though the car weighs just short of 2.5 tonnes, efforts at weight reduction were made: the bonnet and front wings are aluminium, while the bootlid is made from a polymer composite material that also integrates the main antennae for the vehicle's electronic systems. The car went on sale across European markets from May 2013 and in the US from the following month for the 2014 model year.

An additional variant had its world premiere at the 2014 Geneva show. This one is powered by a 507PS (373kW) biturbo 4.0-litre V8. Torque is claimed to be 660Nm. An eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox is standard, as is all-wheel drive. The following differences distinguish the V8 from the W12 Flying Spur: figure of eight chromed exhaust finishers signify the alternative powertrain, the Bentley winged badge has a red centre, and the front bumper grilles are finished in black with a black 'wing' insert.

Bentley told the media in March 2014 that it would be building W12 engines for the Volkswagen Group at its powertrain plant from the end of 2014, with annual production of up to 9,000 units possible.

A revised Flying Spur premiered at the Geneva motor show in March 2015. There were some changes for the interior, new wheels and a lower CO2 average for the W12 engine.

The Spur V8 S was a new variant which premiered at the Geneva motor show in March 2016. Its power is 388kW (528PS), while torque is 680Nm. The Spur V12 S followed six months later at the Paris show. This, the first four-door Bentley to have a top speed in excess of 200mph, has power of 635PS (626bhp) and 820Nm (605 lb. ft.) of torque. Claimed top speed is 202mph (325km/h).

Due to the age of the current model's architecture, Volkswagen is said to have approved plans to replace the current Flying Spur as soon as late 2018. Which means no facelift for the existing model. The next Spur will be available with V8 and W12 engines as well as a PHEV powertrain. There might also be a diesel V8.

Bentley should release the next Flying Spur in late 2018. It will use the MSB architecture and be available as a PHEV.

The Bentayga was Bentley's first SUV. Named after a rock formation on Gran Canaria, it uses MLB Evo, the same basic architecture as the Audi Q7.

A preview, in the form of the EXP 9 F concept, was revealed at the Geneva show in March 2012. One month later, Bentley used the Beijing motor show to announce the vehicle's potential production engine line-up: a 4.0-litre V8 diesel, a V6 plug-in hybrid, plus the 6.0-litre W12 from the concept.

In July 2013, Bentley stated that an SUV would be built at its Crewe plant in 2016. In April 2015, the Volkswagen Group announced that bodies for the Bentayga would be made in Bratislava alongside its other big SUVs. These would then be transported from Slovakia to England, final assembly taking place in Crewe.

Volkswagen claims that the W12 TSI which Bentley manufactures is the most economical twelve-cylinder engine in the luxury car segment. It has CO2 emissions of less than 250g/km in the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC). The W12-engined variant was announced just ahead of the Frankfurt motor show in September 2015. This 6.0-litre engine produces a claimed 608PS (447kW) and 900Nm. With the top speed said to be 301km/h (187mph), this was said by its maker to be the world's fastest SUV at the time of the Bentayga's release. Production started in November 2015.

The Bentayga V8 diesel was announced in September 2016. This, the first diesel Bentley, uses the Volkswagen Group's 4.0-litre V8, which is the same basic unit as in the Audi SQ7 TDI. This means an electric supercharger as well as two turbochargers with drive to both axles via a ZF eight-speed torque converter automatic gearbox. Power is 320kW (435PS) with the same amount of torque - 900Nm (664 lb.ft.) - as the W12. Zero to 100km/h is claimed to take 4.8 seconds and the top speed is said to be 270km/h (168mph). The CO2 average of 210g/km is the lowest for any Bentley.

A facelift is due out in 2020 and the second generation Bentayga should then follow in 2024.

A Bentayga Coupe is said to be being considered for approval by the board of The Volkswagen Group.

A Bentayga Coupé is said to be moving towards production would have four doors and be priced above the Bentayga.

The low-roof 4x4 is due to be in showrooms in 2019. That would be just before the Bentayga reaches mid-life so the fastback body should in theory keep the model series selling well.

BY624, the soon to be previous Continental GT, went on sale across Europe in March 2011. Its world premiere was at the Paris motor show in September 2010. The Continental GTC (convertible) had its global debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September 2011 and went on sale across Europe from late 2011. The GT and GTC were launched with a standard 6.0-litre W12 engine. This was an update of the first generation car's engine but power rose to a claimed 423kW (567bhp).

An additional engine had its global debut in the GT and GTC at the Detroit motor show in January 2012. Bentley says its engineers designed the smaller unit, which it builds at Crewe, though this turbocharged 373kW (500bhp) 4.0-litre V8 is a version of an Audi unit of the same capacity. The engine is tuned to run as a V4 on a light throttle opening, while the transmission is an eight-speed automatic.

The GT V8 and GTC V8 are distinguished from the W12-engined cars by a black gloss grille, a red Bentley 'B' badge, and a black three-segment lower front bumper divided by distinctive body-coloured strakes, while at the rear, the two exhausts are each in the shape of a figure 8.

The GT Speed had its global debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in southern England in June 2012. The additional variant became Bentley's fastest car: the top speed being a claimed 205mph. It was originally powered by a 460kW (616bhp) version of the 6.0-litre biturbo W12 which produced 800Nm of torque. It went on sale in the UK and elsewhere from October 2012.

The GT Speed Convertible was revealed at the Detroit motor show in January 2013. It had the same engine and eight-speed gearbox. More powerful versions of the GT Speed and GT Speed Convertible were launched at the Geneva motor show in March 2014. These cars' engines produce a claimed 635PS (467kW) and 850Nm. The updated cars can be told from the former ones by body colouring for the front splitter, side skirts and rear diffuser, as well as a dark finish for the 21" wheels, headlamps and tail lamps.

The six-speed automatic gearboxes in the GT and GTC were replaced in October 2012. Like the GT Speed, they have had an eight-speed transmission, which improved both economy and CO2 numbers.

Two additional variants, the Continental V8 S coupe and convertible, were launched at the Frankfurt motor show in September 2013. They feature lowered suspension and are powered by a 521bhp version of the 4.0-litre turbo V8 engine. There are also bespoke 20-inch alloy wheels, a rear wing, side skirts, a front air dam and red brake calipers. As with other V8-engined Continentals, the Bentley wings badges have a red centre and the exhaust finishers are shaped like a figure of eight.

A detuned version of Bentley's GT3 racing car was announced in June 2014 and reached dealerships from late 2014. This was the GT3-R, of which 300 units were built. This car had shorter gearing and just two seats, while its biturbo 4.0-litre V8 produced 426kW (580PS) and 700Nm of torque, while it was claimed to be 100kg lighter than the GT V8 S.

A facelift for the GT and a more powerful W12 engine premiered at the Geneva motor show in March 2015. The twelve-cylinder engine's outputs rose to 590PS and 720Nm (formerly 575PS and 700Nm). North America's 2016MY GT was the facelifted car.

The Continental GT Supersports and GTC Supersports were announced in January. They have a 710PS (700bhp) W12 which produces 1,017Nm (750 lb. ft) of torque. Their motor show debuts were at Geneva two months later. Production of all GT derivatives is now winding down.

The next Continental GT had its world public debut at the Frankfurt IAA in September and production will start soon. Even bigger than the old model, it is 4,805mm long.

The next Continental GT had its world public debut at the Frankfurt IAA in September and production will start soon. Even bigger than the old model, it is 4,805mm long, 1,954mm wide and 1,392mm high.

The first engine to be announced is a 635PS and 900 Nm (664 lb.ft.) W12. This is linked to an eight-speed dual clutch transmission. Bentley claims 0-100 km/h takes 3.7 seconds and that the top speed is 333km/h (207mph). The car also has a 48V electrical system.

A 4.0-litre biturbo V8 will follow and this should be the same engine as the unit which powers the Porsche Panamera Turbo. Unlike the W12-engined variant, this one should be available in RWD form as well as AWD. A plug-in hybrid should also be available from later in 2018, and this should have the same set up as the engine and motor in the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid. There also be a version powered by the Volkswagen Group's 4.0-litre diesel V8.

The car's styling is markedly different from the previous two Conti GTs. It looks a lot like the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept car. The tail-lamps are shaped as ellipses, reflecting the silhouette of the exhaust pipe finishers.

Bentley claims the body is 80kg lighter than that of the previous GT, and all panels are aluminium.

The latest model should be built for seven years, with a facelift in early 2022. A new Continental GTC is due to appear during the first half of 2018.

The Mulsanne, which is now eight, has two more years of production remaining.

The Mulsanne, which is now eight, has two more years of production remaining. This XL-sized sedan is powered by the engine from the 1998-2008 Bentley Arnage (Bentley calls it a 6¾-litre V8), updated with cylinder deactivation. It originally produced 377kW (505bhp) with torque of 1,020Nm, Bentley claimed at the time of the car's release, and the gearbox is an eight-speed automatic.

An updated Mulsanne was a world premiere at April 2015's Shanghai motor show. While there were no increases in power or torque, the twin turbo V8 was claimed to have been made 13 per cent more efficient and there were changes to the gearbox calibration. In North America, the update applied for the 2016 model year.

Even though the car is based on the Arnage, it is fair to say the Mulsanne uses a bespoke platform, so much was changed. It had its world premiere at Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in August 2009 and then again a month later at the Frankfurt motor show, where specs were released.

The 'Bentley Hybrid Concept' premiered at the Beijing motor show in April 2014. It was based upon the Mulsanne. No production model eventuated.

The Mulsanne Speed was revealed at the Paris motor show in October 2014. This additional derivative has 1,100Nm of torque and 395kW (537PS) of power.

A facelifted range entered showrooms during the second half of 2016. In addition to the Mulsanne and Mulsanne Speed, there is now a stretched derivative, the Extended Wheelbase. The three cars had their world premieres at the Geneva motor show in March 2016. North America's 2017 model year Mulsanne had the facelift. The stretched Mulliner limousine was also a world premiere at the same Geneva show. It is a metre longer and 79mm taller than the standard Mulsanne.

BY841, the Mulsanne replacement due in 2019, is expected to be offered as a plug-in hybrid in many markets.

BY841, the Mulsanne replacement due in 2019, is expected to be offered as a plug-in hybrid in many markets. There may also be a limited number of rebodied cars produced in 2022 or 2023; perhaps 50-100 in the style of Aston Martin's Lagonda Taraf sedan. The architecture will be MSB and the life cycle should be ten years.

The Mulsanne Convertible, a small volume model, had been expected to be launched as long ago as late 2013. It was to have been the effective replacement for the long-discontinued Azure.

The Mulsanne Convertible Concept was shown to selected potential buyers as well as some journalists at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in August 2012. The VW Group division did not, however, issue images of the car to the media, only sketches. The project was axed in 2013, only to be revived a year later when the 'Bentley Grand Convertible', a concept, appeared at the LA auto show in November 2014. Now, build is set to take place in 2019.

Bentley is said to be planning to make just 19 units of the Grand Convertible to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the company's founding.

Bugatti

Production of a successor to the EB 16.4 Veyron commenced in April 2016. In June 2015, the Volkswagen Group's then CEO Martin Winterkorn stated that the model would have a hybrid powertrain but this proved not to be true.

The Chiron had its public debut at the Geneva motor show in March 2016. Bugatti will build 500 cars in all, each priced from EUR2.4m in European markets.

The 8.0-litre qud-turbo W16 has an output of 1,103kW (1,500PS) and 1,600Nm of torque. Top speed is claimed to 420km/h (261mph).

Volkswagen engineers should start work on a successor for the Chiron in 2021.

At the moment, the Volkswagen Group is not believed to be interested in funding a second hypercar for Bugatti, although rumours of a big sedan crop up from time to time. Instead, it should start working on a successor for the Chiron in 2021. Whether or not that has a combustion engine is unclear at the moment. It might also be a huge limousine, rather than a hypercar.

Lamborghini

The first details of a replacement for the Gallardo were issued to the media in December 2013. The platform, MSS, is the same as that used for the second generation Audi R8.

The Huracán LP610-4 is powered by a 448kW (610PS) 5,204cc naturally aspirated V10, with drive sent to all wheels. A stop-start system is standard, as is a seven-speed dual clutch transmission named LDF (Lamborghini Doppia Frizione) and carbon-ceramic brakes.

Lamborghini calls the chassis an 'integrated structure of carbon and aluminium', and the car has a dry weight of 1,422kg. The Gallardo had an aluminium space frame consisting of cast nodes and extruded profile with permanently integrated aluminium panels. Its successor features an innovative hybrid chassis. It combines aluminium components with large elements made from carbon-fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP).

The hybrid chassis consists partly of aluminium; the front and rear sections of the car with the axle mounts are made almost entirely from this alloy, and carbon-fibre parts produced using the RTM process (Resin Transfer Moulding). They are concentrated around the occupant cell, where they form part of the floor and sills, the centre tunnel, the rear bulkhead and the B-pillars. The x-shaped brace in the engine bay is also made from CFRP. Stainless steel fasteners connect the aluminium and carbon-fibre components. The hybrid chassis of the Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4 weighs less than 200 kilograms, according to its maker.

The car's public debut was at the Geneva motor show in March 2014. Deliveries commenced a few weeks later.

One of the more interesting features is an ANIMA button (soul in Italian). Located on the steering wheel, it changes the responses of the dampers, engine mapping, steering, gearbox, AWD system and traction control.

The Huracán Spyder had its worldwide debut at the Frankfurt IAA in September 2015. A lower-power and rear-wheel drive variant of the coupe, the LP 580-2 had its world premiere at November 2015's LA auto show, with the Spyder following at the 2016 LA show. Lamborghini also calls this car the rear-wheel drive Spyder.

The Huracán Performante had its world premiere at this year's Geneva show. Its engine is a 640hp version of the 5.2-litre V10.

A Huracán replacement is due for release from 2022, after the current model range has a facelift in 2018.

A Huracán replacement is due for release from 2022, after the current model range has a facelift in 2018. It may use either a version of the Audi R8's architecture or else an evolution of the 992 Porsche 911's platform. In a major engineering change, this car is expected to be a plug-in hybrid.

The Aventador LP700-4 had its global premiere at the Geneva motor show in March 2011. The original engine was a 525kW (700hp) 6.5-litre V12 and the drivetrain was all-wheel drive.

The Aventador J, a roadster version of the coupe, had its world premiere at the Geneva show in March 2012. The company built only one car. Eleven months later, the LP700-4 Roadster was announced by Lamborghini. Then, in March 2013, the Veneno, a further derivative of the Aventador, was revealed at the Geneva motor show. Only three were made. These had a Le Mans racer-style raised 'spine'. The Veneno was powered by a 552kW (750hp) 6.5-litre V12.

A Veneno roadster was announced in October 2013. Lamborghini stated that it would build 'not more than nine units' of this one during 2014, each priced at 3.3 million euro (excl tax). The roadster had the same engine as the coupe. It made its public debut on board the Italian naval aircraft carrier Nave Cavour on 1 December 2013.

The Aventador LP750-4 Superveloce had its world premiere at the Geneva motor show in March 2015. It had a 550kW V12 and lost 50kg of kerb weight. Lamborghini told the media at the following month's Shanghai motor show that 600 units of the car would be built. The company then made 500 examples of a roadster variant. The latter had its world premiere at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in September 2015.

At the Geneva motor show in March 2016, Lamborghini revealed another derivative of the Aventador as an effective successor to the Veneno. Called Centenario, this commemorated 100 years since company founder Feruccio Lamborghini was born (April 28, 1916). Power was 566kW (770PS). Only 20 coupes and 20 roadsters were made. The roadster was not shown at Geneva; instead, it debuted five months later at the Pebble Beach Concours.

A facelifted Aventador was announced in December 2016 and made its motor show debut at Geneva in March. The main engineering news was the debut of the first four-wheel steering system to be fitted to a series production Lamborghini. The first variant was the S which is powered by a 740hp 6.5-litre V12. Zero to 62 miles per hour is claimed to take 2.9 seconds and top speed is said to be 217mph.

The Aventador S roadster was a world premiere at the Frankfurt IAA in September. It is powered by the same naturally-aspirated 740hp V12 as the Aventador S coupé. Lamborghini quotes its performance numbers as 0-100 km/h in 3.0 seconds with top speed 350 km/h (217 mph).

There is speculation that a model based on the Egoista concept from 2013 might succeed the Aventador.

There is speculation that a model based on the Egoista concept from 2013 might succeed the Aventador. Lamborghini has trademarked the name Egoista.

The replacement for the Aventador may use either a version of the Audi R8's architecture or else an evolution of the 992 Porsche 911's platform. Speaking earlier in December, Lamborghini's CEO Stefano Domenicali said the car would be a plug-in hybrid, with the combustion engine a normally aspirated V12. Production is expected to start in 2019.

A large SUV would be built in Italy, Lamborghini announced back in May 2015. The recently revealed Urus shares its platform with the Audi Q7, Bentley Bentayga and Porsche Cayenne. A concept version, also called Urus, had its global debut at the Beijing motor show in April 2012.

The MLB platform is said to contain aluminium in cast, extruded and pressed forms, as well as steel pressings. The two materials are bonded and riveted in a similar fashion to how JLR creates the architecture for the Jaguar XJ. Carbonfibre also features for multiple components. Urus production will not be on a conventional assembly line but instead take place via what Audi, the parent company, says will be a 'modular' system. If successful, it will be adapted to far higher volumes for Audi's plants.

A Urus plug-in hybrid will be added in 2020. For now, the new SUV is powered by a 478kW (650hp) and 850Nm biturbo 4.0-litre (petrol) V8. Acceleration from 0-100 km/h takes a claimed 3.6 seconds, top speed is 305 km/h, the 4WD system has active torque vectoring and four-wheel steering, the brakes are carbon ceramic and there is adaptive air suspension as well as active roll stabilisation. Weight is said to be "less than 2,200kg". The standard gearbox is an eight-speed torque converter automatic.

China, Germany, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom and the Middle East will be the main markets, according to Lamborghini.

Speaking at the Frankfurt IAA in September 2015, then company CEO Stephan Winkelmann told the media that he saw potential build of 3,000 units of the Urus per annum. His successor, Stefano Domenicali, spoke of 3,500 a year in an interview in August 2016. Lamborghini's current CEO also stated that combined annual production of the company's supercars would be around the 3,500 mark by 2019.

News of a new paint shop was announced by Lamborghini in May 2017. The company says this new paint plant will be completed by the end of 2018 and used to paint the bodies of the Urus. Confusingly, this appeared to mean the vehicle's introduction would not be until 2019. However, speaking to the media in June 2017, Stefano Domenicali stated that the Urus would be revealed on 4 December, and the first deliveries would commence from mid-2018. The Urus was indeed shown to the media on 4 December.

Stefano Domenicali told the media at the recent Urus press preview that a 2+2 Lamborghini GT was a car he would like to see in the brand's range. However, this would not happen until "between 2025 and 2027". A revival of the Espada model name is one possibility.

Future model plan reports for other manufacturers can be viewed in the OEM product strategy summaries section of just-auto.com.

Future product program intelligence

Additional data on vehicle lifetime and future product plans, such as code names, production plants and expected annual build, are available in PLDB from QUBE.

The final reports on the current and future models of the Volkswagen Group's passenger vehicle brands will be published early in the new year.