Bentley Hybrid Concept: Beijing Auto Show
What Is It?
The Bentley Hybrid Concept is a full-size Bentley Mulsanne luxury sedan with a focus on the environment. While it retains the Mulsanne's standard twin turbocharged V8, the Hybrid Concept also boasts an electric drivetrain capable of propelling the car for around 30 miles without using any gasoline.
According to Bentley, the Hybrid Concept's powertrain works a lot like any other plug-in hybrid, though unlike most plug-in hybrids, there's still a 505-horsepower 6.75-liter turbocharged V8 under the hood. Still, the brand says that the addition of an electric motor helps to decrease the sedan's emissions by around 70 percent while boosting power by 25 percent. That's in addition to the impressive 30-mile range on fully electric power.
Unfortunately, Bentley hasn't announced any other specs, including total horsepower or electric-motor output. We do know, however, that the Hybrid Concept offers several exterior updates over the standard Mulsanne. They primarily include a copper-colored exterior and interior adornments, ranging from exterior-mounted Bentley emblems to the sedan's gauge cluster.
Will They Ever Sell It?
All car companies are getting greener, and that includes luxury brands such as Bentley. While Bentley might not use this engine in the Mulsanne, we expect to see it in the upscale marque's SUV, which is expected to go on sale in 2016.
Why It's Important
The Bentley Hybrid Concept is important because it shows us that even Bentley has fuel economy on the brain. Without compromising on its usual high-performance engines and upscale touches, Bentley manages to enter the green world with the Hybrid Concept, even if the car will mainly be known for its copper, not green, finishes. The automaker says 90 percent of its cars will offer a plug-in hybrid setup by 2020.
The Hybrid Concept is also important because it previews one of the engines that will be offered in Bentley's upcoming SUV, which is due out in 2016. We're not sure what the SUV's other engine will be, though our money is on a conventional gasoline powertrain with copious amounts of power and torque.