The hybrids are coming first, followed by Bentley’s first ever full-electric vehicle.
- Bentley will offer hybrid variants of every car and SUV it makes by 2023, starting with the Bentayga.
- The company’s first ever fully electric vehicle will appear by 2025.
- Expect the hybrids and EV to use Volkswagen Group technologies.
Bentley has announced that it will deliver hybrid versions of every vehicle in its lineup by 2023, an electrification push that presages an eventual fully electric model that will appear by 2025. Why the hybrid and EV rush? Tightening global fuel-economy regulations, of course.
The British luxury carmaker’s hybrid assault begins later this year with the Bentayga hybrid, a plug-in version of Bentley’s SUV that currently is offered with eight- and 12-cylinder gasoline engines in the U.S. (Globally, Bentley also sells the Bentayga with a diesel.) No specific timing has been given for the other hybrids, which we assume will include hybridized versions of the new Continental GT coupe and convertible, the Flying Spur sedan, and the big-daddy Mulsanne. Bentley surely will fill in the blanks on those plans between now and 2023.
The First Bentley EV
We’re more intrigued by the first ever electric Bentley, which is promised for 2025. Head of Bentley sales and marketing Chris Craft explained to us that not only will this EV help the company meet emissions regulations, but the vehicle type fits nicely with Bentley’s vibe. He notes that electric motors’ instant torque—which delivers strong, satisfying acceleration from a stop—matches the sort of effortlessness Bentley cars are known for, adding that the EV plans will deliver “sustainable grand touring for the future” to Bentley customers.
Will there really be a market for an electric Bentley? Craft thinks so, pointing to the 35 percent of luxury customers overall (a percentage that’s growing) who have expressed interest in electric cars. And meeting that demand should be relatively easy for Bentley: While it wasn’t said aloud, the British automaker is likely to borrow its hybrid and electric technologies from the broader Volkswagen Group, of which it is a member.