Bentley Motors Limited is famous for its massive luxury limousines, some of which sport 12-cylinder engines. So if this 93-year old British manufacturer of motorcars were to produce a plug-in hybrid, we might thankfully be able to declare the image of EVs as sacrifice-mobiles for eco-hippies dead and buried (Porsche and Rolls-Royce have already tapped nails into the coffin).
For several months, Bentley has been dropping hints that it might build a hybrid at some point, and it made that possibility a little more concrete last week at Auto China 2012 in Beijing, as it showed off the company’s first SUV, a concept based on the Grand Touring Bentley called the EXP 9 F.
According to the company, a range of advanced powertrains is under consideration for the all-wheel drive luxury SUV, including a V6 plug-in hybrid with a potential 30-km range in electric mode. With CO2 emissions of 130g/km, the V6 hybrid would still be capable of a 0 to 100km/h sprint time of less than five seconds.
Bentley CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer said, “we are very excited by the potential of a high performance, ultra-luxury Bentley SUV. Since we first showed EXP 9 F at Geneva, the response has been overwhelming. Everyone seems to agree that an SUV is a natural fit for Bentley. An exciting range of drivetrain options including a hybrid V6 are under active consideration but one thing is for sure, any Bentley SUV would offer the thunderous performance for which the marque is renowned.”