The new Bentley Bentayga Hybrid has taken its time coming - it was unveiled in March 2018 and won't arrive to European customers before the third quarter of 2019 - but it kicks off a new electrified era at Crewe, according to the global sales chief.
Speaking exclusively to Wheels’ sister mag CAR at the 2019 Shanghai motor show, sales and marketing board member Chris Craft said Bentley intended to accelerate its electrification programme.
“There's no question that our focus is to electrify our range,” he said. “The Bentayga Hybrid comes first in Q3 2019. We intend to produce a PHEV in every model range we have by 2025. And, yes, it could include a full electric vehicle (EV).”
The new Bentayga Hybrid was first revealed at the 2018 Geneva motor show (above). At the time, Bentley claimed that its new plug-in Bentayga variant was the “world’s first luxury hybrid” – something Land Rover won’t be pleased to hear, given that it recently added a Range Rover PHEV and Range Rover Sport PHEV into its range.
Gimme some specs!
The new hybrid Bentayga uses a new-to-Bentley 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine mated to an electric motor. Back then, Bentley neglected to mention how much power it produces, but did say that its emissions are rated at 75g/km on the NEDC cycle.
All-wheel-drive is standard, and like the rest of the Bentayga range, it comes with a smorgasbord of driving modes depending on what you want from it. There are four on-road modes – Sport, Bentley, Comfort and Custom – and a separate set of modes to make the most of the electrified powertrain.
EV Drive allows for up to 50km of full-electric driving, Hybrid Mode allows the engine and motor to seamlessly work together, while Hold Mode keeps charge in the battery, so you can save silent e-running for urban use later in your journey.
To help keep the Bentayga Hybrid as efficient it can be, it uses navigation data to guess which drive mode is best for the current driving situation. Otherwise, it’s business as usual inside, with the same suite of controls, pleats and wood that you find in all other Bentaygas.
Since it’s a PHEV, what’s the charging time like?
Bentley claims the battery pack can be charged in 2hr 30min via a fast-charger, or around 7hr 30min from a regular household socket.
Bentley has also teamed up with designer Philippe Starck to design a Power Dock for Bentley Hybrid buyers. The charging station is a “statement piece” that “showcases exquisite attention to detail.” The charger’s surround uses “eco-linen” mixed with resin and aluminium casting.
The infotainment system displays charging points and allows you to set your destination to them. Pretty standard stuff for a plug-in car in 2019.
Anything else new on the 2019 Bentley Bentayga Plug-in Hybrid?
And to show the world you’re going electric with your choice of Bentayga, the Hybrid badging and wheel centres come in a very fetching shade of copper.
The socket for the charger is subtly hidden on the opposite side to the fuel filler cap but there’s little else to differentiate the PHEV from the rest of the range. Inside, it’s subject to much the same finish as any other Bentayga. Which is to say, it's mega opulent...
Bentley Bentayga Hybrid: price and specs
An official price is still to be confirmed, but Bentley says its new hybrid SUV will be available to order in the UK from the second half of 2018, with first deliveries in the third quarter of 2019. Expect it to be… expensive.