The head of Bentley says the Crewe-based firm plans to “fill the Mulsanne price space”, before dropping a strong hint a new flagship SUV is on the cards.

In mid-January 2020, Bentley confirmed production of the Mulsanne sedan would cease in the second quarter of the year.

Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark told Autocar the new range-topping model would not be a sportscar.

“Our ambition is to fill the Mulsanne price space. It will not be a sportscar, because we will not build sportscars,” Hallmark said.

“The clear indication is that luxury-car buyers see SUVs as being far more attractive, and that is where we see the potential.

“I can definitely see gaps for more derivatives of Bentayga and other opportunities within the SUV space,” he said, repeating earlier suggestions the Bentayga range could expand with its upcoming facelift.

Hallmark said the business case for replacing the Mulsanne with an all-new four-door saloon would have been “extremely tough”.

For now, the range is still available in South Africa, comprising three variants: the Mulsanne (from R6 152 000), the Mulsanne Speed (from R6 739 000) and the Mulsanne extended wheelbase (from R7 384 000).