Bentley Hybrid Concept Provides Gene Pool for Future Vehicles | Edmunds

Bentley Hybrid Concept Provides Gene Pool for Future Vehicles


Just the Facts:
  • The Bentley Hybrid Concept previews Bentley's first plug-in hybrid model, a version of the luxury brand's new SUV set for a 2017 launch.
  • The Hybrid Concept, which is spun off the Bentley Mulsanne, will debut at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show.
  • "We will gradually introduce this powertrain across our model range," said Bentley CEO Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber, in a statement. "By the end of the decade, at least 90 percent of our production will be available as a plug-in hybrid."

CREWE, England The Bentley Hybrid Concept previews Bentley's first plug-in hybrid model, a version of the luxury brand's new SUV set for a 2017 launch.

The Hybrid Concept will debut at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show on April 20.

"We will gradually introduce this powertrain across our model range," said Bentley CEO Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber, in a statement. "By the end of the decade, at least 90 percent of our production will be available as a plug-in hybrid."

He provided no further details, but the pledge effectively means that consumers can expect plug-in hybrid versions of the Bentley Continental GT, Flying Spur and Mulsanne.

The Bentley hybrids will be capable of driving at least 31 miles on electric power alone, the company noted.

The Bentley Hybrid Concept is spun off the flagship Mulsanne, "to show that hybrid technology enhances even the pinnacle of luxury and performance," the automaker said in a statement on Wednesday.

The plug-in hybrid system will offer a power increase of up to 25 percent, with a 70 percent reduction in CO2 emissions. No technical specifications were released at this point, including fuel economy numbers.

The 2014 Bentley Mulsanne and Continental are among the "Least Fuel Efficient" 2014 cars on the market, according to the EPA. The 2014 Mulsanne returns 11 mpg in city driving and 18 mpg on the highway with an annual fuel cost of $4,500, the EPA said on its Web site.

The Hybrid Concept makes liberal use of copper inside and out to "highlight the car's electrical veins," Bentley said.

Exterior touches include copper-trimmed headlights and brake calipers. The cabin gets copper cross-stitching and copper touches on the switch bezels and instruments.

Bentley joins a growing number of luxury automakers rushing plug-in hybrids to market.

The 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder, a plug-in hybrid with a base price of $845,000, is designed to serve as a template for other Porsche vehicles, according to the German automaker.

Cadillac jumped into the plug-in hybrid fray recently with the 2014 Cadillac ELR, a plug-in hybrid with a starting price of $75,995.

Edmunds says: Car shoppers with deep pockets want automakers to show their green credentials and commitment to improved fuel economy, so it's no surprise that Bentley is determined to offer a wider choice of modern and efficient powertrains.

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