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Bentley’s Bentayga Hybrid is the luxury marque’s first true plug-in hybrid. Already in the US markets, it is now on sale in Europe.
In the British brand’s centenary year, Bentley has launched its first hybrid car, the Bentayga Hybrid. This is the first step on Bentley’s journey into the new world of electric vehicles, which will see the marque roll out an electrified version of every model in its roster by 2023. The marque’s first plug-in hybrid combines a 3-litre turbocharged V6 petrol engine with an electric motor.
The Bentayga Hybrid utilises an ‘E Motor’, a Permanent Magnet Synchronous system makes 126bhp and 400Nm which acts as both an electric motor and a power generator. The 17.3kWh battery is capable of recharging in 2.5 hours. This E Motor is combined with a 3-litre, turbocharged V6 petrol engine (this setup, incidentally, also does duty in the Cayenne Hybrid). The combination results in 700Nm of combined torque, a top speed of 254kmph and 0 to 100kmph in 5.5 seconds.
Lastly, the Bentayga Hybrid offers a claimed total driving range of 747km on a single charge, which may seem like quite a feat considering the performance on offer, the all-wheel drive format and the two-and-a-half tonne kerb weight, however this is actually par for the course, considering the 75-litre fuel tank and the hybrid orientation on offer.
The Bentayga Hybrid gets three drive modes. In EV Drive mode, it is driven only with energy supplied from the battery to the wheels via the electric motor which, Bentley claims, is capable of covering about 26km with an estimated 135kmph top speed. In Hybrid mode the car integrates the Intelligent Satellite Navigation feature which calculates the optimum combination of electric motor and engine for the most efficient use of hybrid power as soon as the distance is entered into the system, giving on-screen readouts during the duration of the journey and giving maximum efficiency and range. In Hold mode, the use of engine and electric power is balanced to maintain electric range for later use, which will be especially useful in city traffic situations. Lastly, energy is recovered to the battery through regeneration during deceleration irrespective of the mode selected.
On the outside, the Bentayga Hybrid gets the same 21-inch five spoke alloys as the standard iterations. Indeed, the badging also stays the same, the only difference being the inclusion of the ‘Hybrid’ moniker on the rear. Also on offer are exclusive colour themes including Cricket Ball (red) besides the seven standard paint colour options (excluding the near 100 paint colours and 12 dual-tone options). The Hybrid also gets the Full LED adaptive headlights and LED taillights in the trademark Bentley ‘stacked’ configuration, which extends onto the tailgate.
Moving to the interiors, stepping over the ‘Bentley’ embossed treadplates, the Bentayga Hybrid gets five standard colours for the interior leathers and upholstery (excluding the 15 other hide and leather options) to choose from. The Panoramic roof, with tilt and slide front panel and fixed rear panel give the interiors an even more airy feel than given by the light-coloured stitched leather seats (with the quilted ‘Mulliner’ format). The dashboard and doors get a rich Burr Walnut, Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus, Dark Stained Burr Walnut or Piano Black veneer finish. Moving to the driver’s seat, the single-tone 3-spoke, hide trimmed steering wheel with the steering-mounted gear-shift paddles give a sense of sportiness balanced with the hide and chrome-trimmed gear lever. Lastly, the 8-inch touchscreen infotainment with 60GB HDD, Navigation, Voice Control with Text-to-Speech and satellite radio capability, all mated to an audio system with a 10-speaker setup will ensure every ride is an experience.
Electrification and hybridisation has been the call to action for most of the auto industry worldwide and especially for the Volkswagen group that has already many examples of the same whether with the VW badge itself (e-Golf, e-Up, Passat GTE), from VW’s Motorsports wing (the ID-R) or from its subsidiary brands (Porsche Cayenne Hybrid or the recently-launched Porsche Taycan and Audi’s ETron range). There have even been some truly remarkable examples, such as the Lamborghini Sian electric V12 hybrid, displayed at the Frankfurt Motor Show. In all this, Bentley, a niche brands seemed to have been sidelined. Hence, the emergence of a hybrid option for the Bentayga super-luxury SUV shows the brand’s commitment to sustainability. Additionally, as with all technology, there’s a trickle-down effect; and we, at evo India, are waiting patiently for this tech to show up on our shores soon!