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Geneva show: Bentley goes hybrid with Bentayga

Electric feel: The Bentayga Hybrid combines an electric motor with a turbocharged V6 petrol engine, signifying Bentley’s first step towards a pure-electric model line-up.

First petrol-electric powertrain in a Bentley model underpins Bentayga Hybrid

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Bentley logo6 Mar 2018

By JUSTIN HILLIARD

BENTLEY has once again tapped fellow Volkswagen Group brand Porsche for a new powertrain option for its Bentayga SUV, this time for the petrol-electric Hybrid that marks the marque’s first foray into electrified motoring.

Unconfirmed but likely for an Australian launch, the Bentayga Hybrid combines an electric motor with a turbocharged V6 petrol engine, signifying Bentley’s first step towards a pure-electric model line-up.

This plug-in set-up is likely adopted from the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid which produces 243kW of power and 450Nm of torque from its V6 and 100kW and 400Nm from its electric motor for combined outputs of 340kW and 700Nm. However, Bentley is yet to detail the Bentayga Hybrid’s relevant figures.

More than 50 kilometres of emissions-free driving is promised, while combined carbon dioxide emissions have been tested at 75 grams per km. Claimed fuel consumption on the combined cycle test remains unknown.

The Bentayga Hybrid’s battery pack can be fully charged in as little as 2.5 hours when plugged into an industrial connection, while using a domestic household socket takes five hours longer.

Three E Modes – EV Drive, Hybrid Mode and Hold Mode – have been added alongside the four carry-over on-road driving modes, which include Sport, Bentley, Comfort and Custom.

Each of the new modes manipulate the hybrid powertrain, with EV Drive providing pure-electric propulsion, while Hybrid Mode combines both power sources and Hold Mode maintains the current level of charge.

Information from the satellite navigation system helps determine which of the E Modes will be the most efficient along stretches of a pre-selected route, leading to the relevant mode being automatically employed at the right time.

The Bentayga Hybrid is distinguished from its internal-combustion counterparts with copper-coloured ‘Hybrid’ badging on the lower front doors and tailgate, as well as a copper finish for the wheel centres and Bentley badges. Furthermore, ‘Hybrid’-branded scuff plates have been added.

The car-maker’s MyBentley3 connected services have been updated for the Bentayga Hybrid, including remote battery charging, remote heating and cooling, charging station finder and vehicle status report. These functions can be operated remotely via a smartphone.

A collaboration between Bentley and designer Philippe Starck has resulted in the Power Dock, a stylish recharging unit that can be installed at the homes of Bentayga Hybrid owners.

According to Bentley Motors chairman and chief executive office Adrian Hallmark, the new model plays a key role in kicking off the brand’s transition to an electrified product range.

“The Bentayga Hybrid is our first step on the road to electrification, combining traditional Bentley values with the very latest technologies,’’ he said.

“It gives customers the best of both worlds – engaging, effortless performance on the open road and silent, emission-free driving in the city, which will become increasingly important with the ever-changing regulations around the world.

“Following Bentley tradition, the Bentayga Hybrid pioneers a new automotive sector – the luxury hybrid – and sets Bentley on the path towards a sustainable electrified future.”

The Bentayga Hybrid will be available to order in selected markets from the second half of this year, joining the existing W12, Diesel and V8 variants which have already been launched.

Bentayga sales during its first full year on the Australian market were steady, with 84 examples sold to the end of 2017, representing a 52.7 per cent increase over the 55 deliveries made in its short nine-month launch period in 2016.

The Bentley placed fifth in the premium upper-large-SUV segment last year, trailing the Mercedes-Benz GLS (926 units), Range Rover (436), Lexus LX (324) and Mercedes-Benz G-Class (139).

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