Bentley’s president and CEO has suggested the Crewe-based firm will phase out its famed W12 engine relatively soon.

Speaking to Car and Driver, Bentley boss Adrian Hallmark hinted the end was near for the company’s hefty W12 petrol powerplant.

"For 100 years we have tried to make engines bigger and more powerful," Hallmark told the US-based publication. "For the next 10 years we're going to try and make them disappear."

Hallmark furthermore hinted a fresh flagship SUV positioned above the Bentayga would indirectly replace the recently culled Mulsanne sedan, although it wouldn't employ a W12 heart.

"Our ambition is to fill that price space for sure. It will not be a sportscar; we will not build sports cars. SUVs were 47 percent of our sales last year. If you look at the segment below us, it's about 50 percent,” he said.

"So the clear indication is that both premium-car buyers and luxury-car buyers now see SUVs as being far more attractive."