New all-electric Bentley four-door coupe to use EV tech from Porsche Mission E

Bentley will adopt EV tech sourced from Porsche in the development of a new all-electric flagship coupe

Bentley Bentayga PHEV - wheels

Bentley plans on bringing its form of luxury to a new market with the development of a new all-electric flagship. In a bid to move beyond its old-world image, Bentley’s work on this new model has begun - according to a recent interview between Bentley’s Design Director Stefan Sielaff and our sister title Auto Express. The car, which is understood to be a 4-door coupe, should make use of the technical developments made by fellow VW Group brand, Porsche for the Mission E electric car that's due to arrive in 2019.  

Bentley has already confirmed that it will offer electrified versions of its entire current model range by 2025. The move to develop a new all-electric flagship in addition to this comes as the company seeks to reposition itself as a luxury and technology brand. When questioned about what form the new all-electric model will take, Sielaff suggested “I think we need to make sure that this family member is obviously new, and not imitating another concept we have already in the portfolio. But definitely more than two seats; that’s something I am convinced of.”

> Click here for everything you need to know about the Jaguar I-Pace

The inherent risk of this new model turning into an SUV derivative of some description was approached, but Sielaff rebutted with “nevertheless I think it should be a vehicle that contains a certain coupe-style or sportivity, and also a certain elegance. I don’t think it should be something that is raised high, like an SUV.”

Bentley Bentayga PHEV - plugged

This points towards the new model being a low-slung four-door saloon or coupe in a similar form to the Porsche Mission E. The very notion of an electric Bentley might seem a little off-brand for most Bentley owners, but the opportunity is there for an all-electric model to embody Bentley’s traditional hallmarks of ultra-refinement, silent running and low-speed grunt. Such a car could theoretically fit the ethos that has underpinned the brand for the best part of a century while also opening up a whole new direction. 

Where a bigger problem might lie is in how Sielaff and his design team re-appropriate Bentley’s historic design language, not only for a potential new customer base, but also for a new set of technical underpinnings. Jaguar and its design chief Ian Callum faced a similar issue with the electric I-Pace. Namely, figuring out how to transfer Jaguar’s design language from predominantly cab-rear saloons and coupes onto a mono-box SUV form. You can judge how successful it has been for yourself.

Looking at the proportions of the prototype Porsche Mission E, traditional Bentley design elements such as the long dash-to-axle ratio and large upright grille will be difficult to graft onto this new electric car. It does however give Sielaff and his team the opportunity to stretch the current Bentley aesthetic into something more contemporary, befitting the new 4-door coupe's 21st century underpinnings.

Recommended

Bentley set to be all-electric by 2030
Bentley

Bentley set to be all-electric by 2030

Move to EVs will be preceded by plug-in hybrids across the range – and the end of the W12
6 Nov 2020
£1.5m Bentley Bacalar revealed in six new designs
Bentley

£1.5m Bentley Bacalar revealed in six new designs

Bentley’s exclusive Mulliner brand is returning to low-volume manufacturing with the striking Bacalar convertible
3 Apr 2020

Most Popular

Naturally aspirated engines – best of the breed from 4-pots to V12s
Naturally aspirated engines - group
Supercars

Naturally aspirated engines – best of the breed from 4-pots to V12s

The naturally aspirated engine is capable of stirring emotions a turbocharged motor can only dream of. We celebrate the best of the breed.
22 Jan 2021
BMW i4 to have more power than the M3 Competition
BMW i4 prototype
BMW

BMW i4 to have more power than the M3 Competition

BMW has revealed more details about its all-electric 4-series Gran Coupe and its 4sec 0-62 time
22 Jan 2021
2021 Abarth 595 range detailed – subtle changes across the range
2021 Abarth 595 range - front
Abarth 595

2021 Abarth 595 range detailed – subtle changes across the range

Abarth’s aging 595 gets a nip and tuck for 2021, no sign of a hot 500e in the wings
22 Jan 2021