Just as we walk out of the New York International Auto Show Press Days, China walks into their Beijing Auto Show. And to kick off one of the main debuts at this year’s festivities, Bentley revealed their first ever Hybrid Concept that looks nearly production ready, being based off of a Mulsanne.
It is of the plug-in type with the Crewe-based automaker boasting an increased output of 25% over the regular Mulsanne while docking off 70% on CO2 emissions. It can also go up to 31 miles on EV power, though top speed wasn’t verified.
This is most likely thanks to Bentley’s rich connections with Volkswagen AG’s parts bin. Though visually, the Hybrid Concept can be told apart from the Mulsanne with unique copper trimmings such as on the windows, the headlamps, the badges, and on the inside as well.
Bentley said that the plug-in hybrid system will debut on the brand’s incoming SUV crossover due sometime in 2016. Gasoline versions will come first with the hybrid following second. Plans are to offer the system on more than 90% of their lineup by 2020.
Check out the press release below.
Global debut of Bentley Hybrid ConceptBentley pioneers plug-in hybrids in the high luxury marketChinese debuts: Flying Spur V8, new Continental GT Speed & GT V8 SChina remains key Bentley market
(Beijing, 20th April 2014) Today, Bentley unveiled its vision of a more powerful and even more efficient future with the global debut of the Bentley Hybrid Concept at the Beijing International Automotive Show. The luxury car brand also presents three Chinese debuts at the Show – the new Flying Spur V8, the new Continental GT Speed and GT V8 S.
The Bentley Hybrid Concept is based on the flagship model, the Mulsanne, showing that hybrid technology can enhance even the pinnacle of luxury and performance. Copper is used as an exterior and interior styling element to highlight the car’s electrical veins from accents to the radiator grille and headlamps to copper cross stitching throughout the car’s elegant leather cabin.
Bentley’s plug-in hybrid system increases power by up to 25%, reduces emissions by 70% and gives a driving range of at least 50 km on electric power alone. Bentley will introduce a plug-in hybrid SUV in 2017 and, by the end of the decade, at least 90% of Bentley cars will be available as a plug-in hybrid.
During the Bentley press conference at the Show, Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley Motors, commented:
“Adding performance and efficiency with no compromise to luxury –Plug-in hybrids are an important part of Bentley’s exciting future and we are proud to be pioneering these developments in the ultra luxury sector.”
Also making its Chinese debut at the Beijing Show is the Flying Spur V8, broadening the appeal of the acclaimed luxury sedan to new customers. Powered by 507PS, the Flying Spur V8 reaches 100 km/h in just 5.2 seconds and also offers impressive grand touring performance with a range of more then 800 km on a tank of fuel.
The new and enhanced 206 mph (331 km/h) Continental GT Speed – the fastest production Bentley ever, with 635 PS and 820 Nm of torque – also makes its debut in Asia. Its stiffer and lower Speed chassis is matched with new Speed styling to give it more on the road presence.
The new Continental GT V8 S, a faster, more dynamic and more agile new model for customers who want a V8 with a sharper performance character, also features on the Bentley stand in its regional debut.
With a number of new Bentley models set to arrive in the region in 2014, customer interest in the luxury car brand is set to remain high.
Ricky Tay, Managing Director, Bentley Motors China joined Dr Schreiber during the press conference and commented; “China has always been a key market for Bentley and, after a remarkable year in 2013, we have seen an impressive start to 2014 with a 19 % increase in sales in the first quarter. Our customer base is growing and we are expanding our dealer network to offer our ultra luxury products and a unique brand experience throughout the region.”