Bentley will preview technology coming to the firm’s new SUV buyers in 2017 with a new Bentley Hybrid Concept set to star at the Beijing Motor Show.
The new Mulsanne-based concept is a plug-in hybrid and the firm is revealing it in its flagship model for a reason – at least 9 in 10 of all Bentleys sold will be offered in plug-in hybrid guise by 2020!
The firm promises a driving range of “at least 50km on electric power alone”, thus ensuring plenty of zero-emissions city driving and a power boost away from city limits.
“The plug-in hybrid system will offer a power increase of up to 25% together with a 70% reduction in CO2 emissions, both without any compromise to the exquisite luxury, timeless design and industry-leading refinement for which Bentley has become renowned,” said the firm.
Bentley Chairman and CEO Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber added that plugin hybrid tech is a natural fit for the brand. Referencing Bentley values of ‘outstanding luxury and effortless performance’, he said that “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 Hybrid Concept: Copper load of this
Bentley has used a copper accent theme for the Mulsanne-based Bentley Hybrid Concept model. It is used in the headlights, radiator, brake calipers, feature line details and badges.
Inside, there are copper inserts in the veneer fascias, copper switch bezels and instruments. There’s also copper cross-stitching within the Mulliner Driving Specification diamond-quilted leather.
Bentley’s hybrid system itself will be paired to the Mulsanne’s ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, and is thus expected to be a modular system also used in other Volkswagen Group vehicles: there are already hybrid versions of the Audi A6 and A8, for example, both of which use the gearbox.
We don’t know where Bentley’s mounted the batteries but do note there’s not a shot of the boot open: they will, of course, be fully integrated into any future production models.
The first Bentley plug-in hybrid will be a variant of the new SUV and launched in 2017. Dr. Schreiber has today confirmed that the future Continental GT will also be a plug-in hybrid.
Ironically, given its Beijing starring role, the one model that may not be offered in plug-in hybrid guise could the Mulsanne itself – at least not until it’s replaced by an all-new car…