Luxury automaker Bentley has pulled the wraps off the Bentayga Hybrid, perhaps the most stark reminder that emissions regulations and eco-warriors have no mercy. So now you can have a Bentley SUV, a typically-obvious display of conspicuous consumption, and creep past Greenpeace members armed with eggs and rotten produce, in full-electric mode.
Once you get over the fact that ‘Bentley’ and ‘plug-in hybrid’ can now exist in the same sentence, it actually makes quite a bit of sense to have one in the first place. For starters, the 75g/km of claimed CO2 emissions means that it’s friendly to owners in countries where road tax is dependant on that sort of thing. Secondly, the Bentayga Hybrid’s electric powertrain means that the internal-combustion engine, which would be hopelessly inefficient at town speeds, can be shut off, and the Bentayga can glide around town at urban speeds without using a single drop of unleaded.
And thirdly? SUVs are trendy. And so is sustainability (or perceived sustainability, at the least).
Under the bonnet, you’ll find a 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine, which works harmoniously with electric motors to produce some amount of horsepower. And thanks to the plug-in powertrain, the car can travel about 48km on electric propulsion alone. And it’ll do the century sprint in some amount of time.
We’re being vague about some of the figures because Bentley hasn’t been particularly forthcoming with details. However, we do know that charging the thing will take 7.5-hours via a household socket, so the battery’s got to be pretty big. The drivetrain setup is suspiciously similar to that in the Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid, and that puts out about 340kW and 700Nm. However, that puts out 56g/km of toxic fumes, so…
Anyway. The only changes to the Bentayga come in the form of copper ‘Hybrid’ badges on the outside, and the two ‘filler caps’ on the outside: The one on the left is for electricity, and the one on the right is for petrol. Don’t confuse the two.
Those of us familiar with plug-in hybrids will know that the act of plugging in your hybrid (the faffing with the cable, the malarky with the caps, and so on) is hardly graceful. But to that end, Bentley has teamed up with legendary designer Phillippe Starck, who has designed what is undoubtedly the most beautiful charging station we’ve ever seen for a motorcar. Apparently it’s a “statement piece,” like an art sculpture designed to draw eyes towards it and inevitably glorify its owner.
The Bentley Bentayga Hybrid is now the second plug-in hybrid ultra-luxury SUV, after Range Rover introduced a new petrol-electric drivetrain in October last year along with a mid-life model update.