It’s staggering to imagine that eco-awareness has reached centenarian racer cum luxury car builder, Bentley, who some 18-months ago revealed they were getting with the times and announced their first-ever electrified vehicle in the form of the Bentayga Hybrid. This represents the first step in the brand’s vision of introducing an electrified version of every nameplate by 2023.
However, the Crewe-based company took their time in rolling out the Hybrid, with the brand announcing recently that it would finally be going on sale in selected markets around the world.
To jog your memory, the Bentayga does away with its usual affair of twin-turbocharged W12 and V8 power plants for a blown 3.0-litre V6 engine that puts out 245kW with 450Nm of torque. The mated electric drive element produces 94kW and 400Nm for total system output of 340kW and 700Nm driving all four wheels via an 8-speed torque converter.
The electric motor is fed by a 17.3kWh lithium-ion battery pack that has an estimated EV range of 51km. However, when combined with the petrol engine the Bentayga Hybrid claims a total range of 747km. On the WLTP combined cycle, it’ll return 3.5l/100km with 79g/km of CO2 produced as a result. Having said that, the Hybrid claims a century sprint time of 5.5 seconds and a top speed of 254km/h. Not too shabby for a 2,626kg SUV.
While the 75-litre petrol tank feeding the turbocharged mill up front takes mere minutes to fill, a depleted battery pack takes around 7.5 hours to charge up via domestic 120v wall socket. However, Bentley says that owners with a 240v charger can reduce that time to just 2.5 hours. The Hybrid is even offered with a chic Power Dock made in collaboration with French designer Philippe Starck which looks more like an art installation than wall charger.
In terms of kit, the Bentayga Hybrid receives virtually the same equipment as found in other variants, requiring some 130 hours to hand-assemble and available with virtually infinite personalisation options. Needless to say, it ships with an entire suite of driver assistance systems Including Electronic Night Vision, Traffic Sign Recognition, Predictive Adaptive Cruise Control and a 360-degree optical system.
The Range Rover P400e (plug-in hybrid) and Bentayga Hybrid remain the only two contenders in this top-shelf arena of electrified ultra-luxury SUVs. Prices start from GBP 133,100 ($243,767) in the UK and USD 160,00 ($238,096) in the United States. Bentley has yet to confirm when the order books will open for Australia.