It's only been a couple of years since we first met Bentley's inevitable foray into the ultra-premium SUV space. Bentayga has grown to become one of Bentley's most important models, so it makes sense that this SUV will carry the torch for the automaker's next big milestone: Electrification. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Bentayga Hybrid.,
Bentley's press materials call this Bentayga the "world's first luxury hybrid," a statement that I think a number of automakers -- including sister companies Audi and Porsche -- might disagree with. Nevertheless, the automaker says the Bentayga Hybrid "feels and rides like a true Bentley," and will be available with all the same luxurious and opulent accoutrements.
In other words, the hybrid will be the same as all other Bentaygas from a design and interior standpoint, with Bentley's usual endless customization possibilities. The only big differences are the copper-colored "hybrid" badges on the lower front doors and tailgate, a copper finish on the wheel center caps and "hybrid" written on the inner door sills. The charging port is housed behind a duplicate fuel door, opposite from the gas filler.
The key change for the Bentayga Hybrid, obviously, is its powertrain. Gone is the SUV's V8 or V12 -- in its place, there's a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6, with a big ol' battery pack. So yes, in addition to being Bentley's first hybrid, it's the first Bentayga with V6 power. We're still waiting for Bentley to confirm official specs, though a spokesperson told Roadshow total output is "more than 400 bhp, with more than 100 bhp of that figure coming from the electric motor." Additionally, the torque figure is said to be "commensurately appropriate for a Bentley and is close to that of the Bentayga V8."
Bentley says the battery can be fully recharged in just 2.5 hours on 240-volt power and that the Bentayga Hybrid can travel up to 31 miles on EV power alone. The SUV can also drive in pure hybrid mode, making the most of the gas engine and electric motor's combined efficiency. Finally, a Hold Mode lets you keep the battery state exactly where it is, relying solely on the gas engine for propulsion.
When it comes time to charge, you can plug it into any EV power station, but let's talk about the Bentley by Starck Power Dock. It's a specially designed wall-mounted home charging station, and the perfect accessory to your new Bentayga Hybrid. Designed by Philippe Starck, the charging unit is made from "pressed eco-linen with bio-sourced thermosetting resin," according to Bentley. It's meant to keep cables organized in a tidy fashion at home. Bentley will offer two bespoke bags with all the necessary cables in the Bentayga's boot.
You can't order a Bentayga Hybrid just yet, but Bentley says it'll be available in select markets in the second half of 2018. The plug-in SUV makes its official debut in Switzerland at the Geneva Motor Show this week.