Although full electric vehicles garner lots of attention, there is still something to be said for non-full-electric vehicles: plug-in hybrids, which have bigger batteries than non-plug-in hybrids, so they can go farther on full electric power. (Yes, conventional hybrids have an EV button that allows them to creep along without the engine running, but you surely can’t depend on that range being much, especially if you do something crazy like turning on the HVAC system.)
And the latest to be said about plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) comes from Bentley, which is launching the Bentayga Hybrid.
Not only does Bentley proclaim that it is “the only electrified true-luxury SUV in the world”—presumably things like the Audi Q5 PHEV aren’t sufficiently “true”—but makes a very bold prediction: the PHEV Bentayga “will become the best-selling member of the new Bentayga family.”
Other family members are the Bentayga V8 and the Bentayga Speed. Neither of which, obviously, is focused on ecological motoring.
The Bentayga Hybrid provides “up to 31 miles of electric-only range” measured on the NDEC protocol. So one could roll through London on electricity alone, then take advantage of the 3.0-liter twin turbocharged V6 that provides 443 bhp and 516 lb-ft of torque and open it up on the motorway.
The hybrid features a 17.3-kWh lithium battery and a 94-kW motor. The motor is housed in the transmission case, between the engine and the transmission proper.
Like a Ford Explorer.
Bentley first offered a Bentayga Hybrid in 2018. One of the key features of that vehicle was the Power Dock, which was co-designed and developed along with Philippe Starck: it was designed as a home charging station and is described as “a functional piece of art that will enhance any home.”
Buy a car. Get an artwork.
According to Bentley stats, over 90% of the customers used their first-gen Bentayga “a daily basis or several times a week.” Imagine. You buy an SUV that costs ~$160,000 and you drive it regularly.
Here’s a quote from Adrian Hallmark, chairman and CEO of Bentley Motors, that is worth pondering: “The Bentayga Hybrid is the next step on our journey to becoming the world’s leading sustainable luxury mobility company. Bentley will transform from a 100-year-old luxury car company to a new, sustainable, wholly ethical role model for luxury, and the Bentayga Hybrid is the first model to pioneer our company’s recently announced Beyond100 strategy.”
Surely, this one vehicle has a heavy load.