By on February 26, 2017

2017 Bentley Bentayga rear

If you were wondering if the Volkswagen-owned Bentley Motors Limited would be omitted from its parent company’s promise of rampant electrification, it won’t.

Bentley also isn’t too high and mighty to hop onto the compact crossover bandwagon. Executives are saying that the luxury motorcar manufacturer is toying with the notion of producing a small all-electric SUV positioned beneath the $229,100 Bentayga, in stature anyway. 

“I can assure you that Bentley — on the long term view — will not stay with one model only in the SUV lineup,” Bentley CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer said during the press launch of the Continental Supersports. “We have clear indications that a smaller Bentayga as a Bentley SUV would find great acceptance.”

Automotive News quoted Rolf Frech, Bentley’s board member on engineering, as stating “If you are looking for such a car then we are looking at the combination with the possibilities to go full electric. It only makes sense if you get really new customers into the brand.”

Bentley already promised an eventual plug-in hybrid option for each of its models, starting with the Bentayga SUV and ending with the Flying Spur. The early models will use a V6 PHEV powertrain borrowed from VW capable of at least 500 hp, but the company has said it also wants to use a hybridized V8 — particularly for the North American market.

Considering Volkswagen has promised to launch over two-dozen electric cars by 2025, Bentley’s move toward additional electrification isn’t completely out of left field. Other VW sub-brands are working on all-electric vehicles as well. Lamborghini has plans to build a plug-in model of the upcoming Urus crossover, Audi is working on an e-tron SUV line, Porsche has said it would build the E Mission, and there have been sightings of an all-electric Cayenne prototype.

Frech said the Bentley EV wouldn’t show up until 2020, just after those vehicles are scheduled to arrive.

[Image: Bentley Motors Limited]

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18 Comments on “Bentley is Considering an All-Electric Baby Bentayga...”


  • avatar
    OldManPants

    Had to google the Bengayga. Looks like a London Taxi with the top chopped.

    • 0 avatar
      WhatsMyNextCar

      I can understand not knowing what it looks like. I can’t understand your comparison to the London taxi. There are few similarities. Round headlights and tires…they have windshield wipers…

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      The Bentley would be much more suitable for clubbing and meeting high class tarts than a taxi.

    • 0 avatar
      Funky

      I had a close look at the Bentayga the other day. The sculpted rear fenders give the vehicle some character which differentiates it from other SUVs. It appeared (at least to my naive and uninformed tastes) to look sufficiently “Bentley like”. I’d imagine, if seen on the road, it would make the right sort of impression (i.e. the owner has something unique, costly, and upscale that at a quick glance can be noticed to be different than what most other folks are driving).

  • avatar

    “Considering” is a great non-committal committal.

    Probably done more to gauge the reaction from the market to see if the idea is tenable or not.

  • avatar
    Demon Something

    Eh, at least electric motors aren’t bad options for grand tourers, range and recharge aside. Quick, quiet acceleration is something Bentleys probably should have…of course, that devil is always in the details.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Obviously much of this high end battery powered stuff will start out on lease.
    Be interesting to see what it wholesales for on the back end.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Is Bentayga a type 4 redux from VW with a fatter margin?

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    You know, we shiftless people who drive low cost appliances will have to pay more to make up for all the money being wasted on electric vehicles. We’re awash in oil. Knock off this foolishness and put the money into new V-8 engineering. Even the Dart had a 318 and Torqueflite!

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I sense the sarc but if even half the money/time were put into building thorium reactors we’d all be better off. US electricity comes from cheap-for-now nat gas and coal. Nuclear is dying, and the rest are pipe dreams.

      https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=427&t=3

      ‘Murican V8s will still be with us in years hence but everything save Teslas and the better hybrids will be long gone in fifteen years or less. Just look at the depreciation curve of a Leaf and say, Yes We Can!

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Thorium reactors are VERY promising, but not yet perfected, i.e., utilities haven’t figured out issues of scale, and there are technical problems, as with all new technology. When developed further, it’s probably the best replacement for natural gas and coal, which have other, better uses.

        I’m not so sure Tesla will be around that long. Its best product, the Model S, was the result of a collaboration with Detroit engineers, and Tesla engineers are trying to build on that. The fact remains that Tesla’s business plan relies on government subsidies in the form of carbon credit sales, and Tesla still doesn’t have the manufacturing chops to scale up production to break even without the carbon credit sales income.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I think between the number produced, the aesthetics, and the fact it has cred as being the first serious EV, they would remain around in the hands of owners for some time even if the parent company failed tomorrow.

          “The fact remains that Tesla’s business plan relies on government subsidies in the form of carbon credit sales, and Tesla still doesn’t have the manufacturing chops to scale up production to break even without the carbon credit sales income.”

          I agree but for whatever reason (rigged financial system, juiced-in insiders, obsession over Manbearpig etc), I don’t see Musk’s creation failing despite it’s nonsensical business model.


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