Bentley has released the first details of its new hybrid model, the 2019 Bentley Bentayga Hybrid SUV.
Combining an electric motor with a turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol V6, Bentley calls it the “first step towards full electrification”, which is something the company is working towards over the next decade.
Electrification makes sense, especially for a super luxury brand; it combines massive torque with near silent running, which is exactly what Bentley customers will be after.
Under the bonnet of the Bentayga Hybrid, you’ll find the same engine as found in the Audi SQ5, but Bentley hasn’t yet confirmed its power outputs, nor has it given us the combined power and torque of its PHEV powertrain.
We’ll find out those details later, when the SUV becomes available to order in selected markets. Bentley says that will happen in the second half of 2018.
Here’s what we know so far
The Bentayga Hybrid will have a full electric range of just over 31 miles or 50 km, using the NEDC cycle. The new standard, however, the WLTD cycle will yield slightly less than that.
A full charge of the battery from a normal household power socket will take approximately 7.5 hours, but if you get a fast-charging station installed at home, you can get the full charge in 2.5 hours.
Sounds like a lot of charging time to get a little result, but that’s not what the Bentayga Hybrid is about – it’s not competing with the Tesla Model X or the Jaguar I-Pace. It’s about reducing the overall fuel consumption of the brand, to help it comply with stricter environmental conditions.
Designer Philippe Starck was called in to create a design for the recharging unit. The company calls it the Power Dock, and it’s fashioned from pressed eco-linen with bio-sourced thermosetting resin.
A domed front uses hot-pressure aluminium casting to make the shape, and Bentley says that its design will “encourage Bentayga Hybrid customers to plug-in whenever they are at home, thus ensuring each journey begins with the maximum electric-only range.” If you say so…
There will be three drive modes: Sport, Bentley, Comfort and Custom. But in addition to these are three “E Modes”: EV Drive, Hybrid Mode and Hold Mode.
EV Drive does what it says – electric power only. Hybrid mode will use whatever motor is needed at the time to get the best result for a given condition, while Hold mode ensures that the charge is kept exactly at the same level.
There’s a revised instrument panel which shows charging, or electricity flow info, and the charging status can also be shown on a smartphone app.
You can also pre-cool or heat the car before you hop in when it’s plugged in, and you can use the app (or the car) to find you the nearest listed charging station.
Night vision, parking assistance, adaptive cruise control, leather everywhere – you name it, it’s got it.
Pricing, however, hasn’t been announced. Once the car is closer to going on sale, we’ll bring you all those details.