Published: Tue, March 06, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

New Bentley Bentayga hybrid kick-starts brand's electrification plans

New Bentley Bentayga hybrid kick-starts brand's electrification plans

The Hybrid is the fourth variant to enter the posh SUV range, after the original W12, V8 diesel and V8 petrol.

"The Bentayga Hybrid is our first step on the road to electrification, combining traditional Bentley values with the very latest technologies", said Adrian Hallmark, chairman and CEO of Bentley Motors. Power comes from a plug-in hybrid system pairing a 3.0-litre turbocharged petrol V6 with an electric motor and generator, allowing for up to 50 kilometres of silent, local-emissions-free motoring. Performance figures have not yet been revealed but a total output of 456hp is expected. With its help, expect the Bentayga to deliver around 516lb ft of torque from just above idle.

The battery can be fully re-charged in 7.5 hours via a conventional home power outlet or 2.5 hours when connected to a higher capacity industrial outlet.

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And Bentley being Bentley, the charging dock has to stand out. Should you wish to match your charge port to the badging, the Bentayga's Power Dock Charger penned by famed designer Philippe Starck sports a copper surround matched with an aluminum center. The statement piece is conceived using sustainable and technological materials. The infotainment screen can display energy flow in each mode, showing whether the auto is running on battery power or engine power - or whether power is flowing back to the battery in order to charge it.

All-wheel drive will be standard, as will be three E Modes, including EV Drive, Hybrid Mode and Hold Mode. The last setup allows the vehicle to run exclusively on engine power while retaining charge levels for later use. And inside, the digital instrument cluster and infotainment screen come with items specific to the hybrid model, such as its performance, consumption and energy source. For instance, the vehicle's traditional tachometer that displays engine speed is replaced with a dial showing when the auto is operating in pure electric mode. In the latter case, the temperature gauge has been replaced by a battery status dial while the tachometer is replaced by a dial which shows if the model is in EV mode.

For maximum efficiency, simply use the integrated satellite navigation system. Ideally, Bentley says the system will deplete the battery's charge completely just as you arrive at your destination. Of course, all hybrid-related functions will be added to the "MyBentley3" smartphone app.

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