Entire Bentley Lineup Will Get Plug-In Hybrid Versions

2 months ago by Steven Loveday 9

Bentley Bentayga

Bentley Bentayga

Bentley unveiled a plug-in hybrid concept a few years back, but nothing else surfaced regarding it ever since. Apparently, things have now changed.

Bentley Mulsanne Speed

The Bentley Mulsanne Speed Plug-In Hybrid Concept premiered at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show

CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer recently spoke at the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit, and after a brief mention of self-driving vehicles, he revealed that Bentley will soon offer PHEV options across its entire lineup.

Dürheimer confirmed:

“You will understand if I don’t reveal our entire future product plan here today, but I can say that we are eager to introduce plug-in hybrid technology across all model lines in the next few years.”

Previously, talk was stirring about a possible electric-only Bentley. Stefan Sielaff, the company’s new director of design, had reportedly presented the concept and pushed its exploration. But recently, Sieloff made it clear that, although the possibility was up for discussion, not every idea becomes a reality. While Dürheimer’s announcement doesn’t completely rule out the BEV platform, it leads us to believe that, at least for now, the automaker is going to stick with the PHEV option. Dürheimer explained:

“For Bentley, I consider PHEV much more than a transitional technology. It combines the best of both worlds.”

Until charging infrastructure is widely implemented, and high energy density, long-range batteries are more reasonably-priced, we will continue to see many major automakers add PHEV options over BEVs.

Dürheimer is not a fan of autonomous driving, and made it clear that Bentley will likely never offer a fully self-driving vehicle. He believes that people should always have control of their cars. He said:

“Technology in isolation is cold and can never be truly luxurious. We must never lose the human touch.”

The first of Bentley’s plug-in hybrid powertrains will be offered reasonably soon in the Continental GT and Continental GTC. Actually, it will be a Porsche powertrain, coming directly from the currently available Porsche Cayenne PHEV midsize SUV. Sometime in 2018, we are likely to see the technology in the Bentayga, with a coupe version to follow during the next model year.

Source: Autocar

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9 responses to "Entire Bentley Lineup Will Get Plug-In Hybrid Versions"

  1. DJ says:

    It will likely get 4 miles of AER but hey it will avoid the congestion fees and restrictions!!!

    1. no comment says:

      i think you assessment is on point, this is about congestion charges, carbon taxes and meeting current and expected future regulations. there is a limit to how much range you’re going to get given that bentley’s can weigh 3 tons before you account for the weight of the battery.

    2. Nix says:

      I agree.

      4 or maybe 8 tops. Which does very little for reducing overall gas consumption, but it certainly goes a long way in improving air quality in city centers. These big engine low mpg cars put a lot of exhaust into the air, and eliminating that from city centers at least tackles that problem.

      So it definitely isn’t the enthusiasts choice of PHEV’s, but it will have a very positive effect

  2. Ambulator says:

    The BEV will come when London bans ICE vehicles from the city center. It won’t be soon but I expect it eventually.

  3. Just_Chris says:

    This will happen, why wouldn’t it. Cost, size and weight are not issues with a Bentley. They made the Maclaren a PHEV because it make sense from a performance perspective. Add in that cities already or are going to start banning or taxing the life out of conventional drive train vehicles and its a no brainer. I would expect every major luxury car maker that sells in the EU or China to offer a PHEV version of all of its models in the next 3-5 years.

  4. MT says:

    He says they’ll never make fully autonomous vehicles.

    They’ll make pure electric and fully autonomous vehicles once they notice that the general public considers these the ultimate transportation luxuries, which will happen much sooner than almost anyone in the auto industry expects…

    I’m thinking that will become the perception in about 20 years or less.

    1. wavelet says:

      Actually, it makes a lot of sense that they won’t make full-autonomy cars: Bentley is the classical conspicuous-consumption brand, where you’re only paying for the name and absolutely nothing else (not even performance).

      The target market employs a personal chaffeur, and if the car is self-driving, it can’t really make use of one… it doesn’t allow the owner to properly flaunt his/her wealth.

  5. SJC says:

    A PHEV Continental GT sounds great.

  6. BenG says:

    Yawn. Agree these will likely be low-range relatively weak PHEVs.

    When Bentley gets around to making an all-electric, or an electric dominant car I’ll be interested to see it, but until then I’ll stick to viewing them as gas-sucking dinosaurs.

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