Bentley to go electric?

Boss reveals electric sports car and ‘alternative’ mega-SUV under consideration

Wolgang Dürheimer, Chairman and Chief Executive at Bentley, has confirmed that two new models are under consideration.

At the launch event for the Bentayga SUV, Dürheimer announced that a more ‘performance-enhanced’ SUV is being assessed, along with a pure electric sports car. ‘Neither model is confirmed,’ explained Dürheimer, ‘but I am ambitious for Bentley and believe future products to be the lifeblood of future success’.

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Both potential new models are significant, but for different reasons. The higher-performance SUV, based on the Bentayga, is being mooted with an alternative body style and a ‘unique’ design direction. Or, as Dürheimer put it, something that has ‘a true wow’ factor.

>Read our Bentley Bentayga preview here

It is likely this model, from a styling perspective, will challenge existing Bentley design conventions and reflect Dürheimer’s desire to further ‘contemporise' the brand.

The significance of an electric Bentley is more obvious. Bentley has, via the wider VW group, had access to considerable r&d and expertise in electrification, but has until now dodged the pure electric question.

However, a giant step towards it occurred at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show when the British manufacturer unveiled the petrol/electric EXP 10 Speed 6 concept car.

Now, following dieselgate, it would appear Bentley has decided to take the plunge - for one model at least. ‘I believe the technology is now sufficient to deliver a true Bentley driving experience.'

Dürheimer believes both models would fit ‘perfectly’ into the Bentley portfolio, but wouldn’t be drawn on when they would be revealed - although evo believes the two-seat Speed 6 concept will make production reality by the end of 2018.

So, Bentley is considering a hi-power SUV with a ‘unique styling direction’ plus a pure electric sports car. Sound like fantasy? Time will tell, but a bullish Dürheimer signed off his announcement with: ‘I have a good track record of turning ideas into reality’.

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