As followers of our blogs will be only too aware, we’re usually and strictly ‘all EV’ when it comes to telling you about market moves in the automotive world. However, we thought that news about one of the world’s pre-eminent luxury car makers dipping an even bigger toe into the alternative power bath was worthy of a departure.
Since Bentley’s first vehicle rolled off the production line in 1946 (the Mark VI), their mission statement has been “To build a good car, a fast car, the best in its class”. The spirit and intention of that statement has led the Crewe-based manufacturer to its upgraded range of hybrid vehicles.
By announcing details of the second generation Bentayga Hybrid (predicted to be the strongest selling variant of the brand’s luxury SUV), Bentley has accelerated on its journey towards offering exclusively plug-in hybrid and battery-electric cars by 2026 and going all-electric by 2030. Bentley have already begun implementing this vision at their production facility in Cheshire, most notably as it became the first luxury automotive factory to be officially certified by the Carbon Trust as ‘Carbon Neutral’. To achieve this accolade, the facility underwent a number of changes, over two decades, such as installing a water recycling system in the paint shop, local tree planting and the installation of over 30,000 solar panels.
So, the car then…….
Upon first viewing, you will notice some subtle changes as, unlike the previous iteration, the Bentayga Hybrid has a new look front end with a larger grille, LED matrix headlights, wider wings and brake lights inspired by the brand’s Continental GT coupé.
Inside the cabin, your attention is immediately drawn to the HD touch sensitive 10.9 inch infotainment system, which is equipped, as standard, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
USB-C ports and wireless phone chargers are also now standard-fit and, via an inbuilt SIM card, users can be connected without a phone to the My Bentley connectivity services function.
Bentley have advised that more than 90% of current (first generation) Bentayga Hybrid owners use their car “on a daily basis or several times a week” and around half consistently drive less than 30 miles at a time. Based on these statistics, the majority of journeys, Bentley said, “can be achieved completely in electric-only” which will be reflected in the 17.6kWh lithium battery pack, with a claimed NEDC electric-only range of 31 miles
The battery can be fully charged in two and a half hours at speeds of up to 7.2kWh and is topped up via regenerative braking in EV and Hybrid modes.
The Bentayga Hybrid will still have a 3 litre, twin-turbocharged petrol V6 engine under the bonnet. When combined with the battery pack, this should kick out a massive 443php. The updated Bentayga Hybrid is set to arrive in dealerships in October 2021 and will come with a starting price of around £155,000.
It’s safe to say that this isn’t the car that will save the planet, however in an effort to help with the cause (and as another famous statement goes), every little helps….