Make / Model Search

Future models - Bentley - EXP 9 F - hybrid

Beijing show: Bentley considers hybrid for SUV

True Brit: Bentley’s Mulsanne Diamond Jubilee edition celebrates 60 years in the throne for Queen Elizabeth.

Bentley reveals SUV drivetrain options, unveils Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Mulsanne

27 Apr 2012

A BENTLEY SUV powered by a V6-based plug-in hybrid system is in the running for production and could potentially become the brand’s first production petrol-electric model.

The company announced at the Beijing motor show that it is considering V6 plug-in hybrid alongside potential V8 and W12 drivetrains for the production version of its controversial EXP 9 F SUV concept.

The German-owned British luxury brand also revealed a limited-run Diamond Jubilee edition of its flagship Mulsanne limousine in China this week.

Bentley says the hybrid will provide a 30km zero-emissions range, achieve a sub five-second 0-100km/h sprint and emit 130 grams per kilometre of CO2 – lower than the least polluting Ford Focus.

Although the EXP 9 F SUV concept went on display in Beijing fitted with Bentley’s familiar 447kW/800Nm 6.0-litre, twin-turbo W12 petrol engine, it is also considering the new 373kW/660Nm 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that recently became an option on the Continental GT and GTC.

54 center imageLeft: Bentley Mulsanne Diamond Jubilee edition.

The V8 is based on an engine developed by Bentley’s Volkswagen Group stablemate Audi, and the V6 petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain could come from Audi’s e-tron vehicle electrification project.

Another sister brand, Lamborghini, is also planning an SUV – revealed as the Urus concept at Beijing – with the target of achieving best-in-class CO2 emissions with the aid of lightweight construction, and overseas reports suggest the Urus will run a V8-based hybrid drive system.

As the name suggests, the Mulsanne Diamond Jubilee edition marks the 60-year reign of Queen Elizabeth, and one car will be produced for each year she has spent in the throne.

Unveiled on the Queen’s birthday at the opening of Asia’s largest Bentley dealer in Beijing, the Diamond Jubilee edition is designed and crafted by Bentley’s bespoke Mulliner division.

Special interior touches include gold embroidery on the head restraints, veneered picnic tables in the rear and leather scatter cushions, all decorated with a royal carriage motif – which is also applied to the multi-function display’s wood veneer cover on the dashboard.

Highly-polished stainless steel treadplates bear the Mulliner name and Diamond Jubilee Edition and the main colours used for the car are red, white and blue – mirroring those of the Union Jack.

Bentley’s regional manager for Southeast Asia and Australia Ed Striebig told GoAuto that while the Diamond Jubilee edition is in theory available worldwide, demand for the 60 vehicles is so strong in mainland China that they are all expected to end up there.

Bentley Motors director of royal and VIP relations, Richard Charlesworth offered an explanation for the special edition’s popularity.

“The respect and genuine interest shown towards so many aspects of British life, and most especially the royal family, has made China a unique experience for our marque as well as many other UK businesses,” he said.

China was Bentley’s biggest market in the first quarter of this year, with sales up 84.9 per cent to 578 units – accounting for almost a third of its total output and contributing to 46.6 per cent overall growth.

The Road to Recovery podcast series

Read more

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

Bentley models

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here