The upcoming Bentley SUV will get a dedicated plug-in hybrid variant in 2017, a year after the 12-cylinder petrol version starts production in Crewe. And to showcase the new powertrain to potential customers in China, the German-owned British company is bringing the Bentley Hybrid Concept to the Beijing motor show.
For now fitted to the Mulsanne luxury limo, Bentley’s new plug-in hybrid system is based on its flagship model’s 505 hp, 6.75 (six and three-quarter) litre twin-turbo V8 engine. It’s said to offer up to 25% more power and a 70% reduction in CO2 emissions. That’s around 630 hp and 118 grammes of CO2 per km, according to our trusty (phone) calculator.
Bentley also claims that all those gains are achieved without any negative compromises, as the technology stays true to the firm’s usual values of “outstanding luxury and effortless performance.” After it makes its production debut on the SUV model, the plug-in hybrid system will filter down to “at least 90%” of Bentley’s model range by 2020, all of which will have a minimum of 50 km electric-only range.
To mark it out as something more special than standard Mulsannes (if they can ever be described as such), the Hybrid Concept is dressed up with various copper highlights, including intricate additions to its headlamps, grille bezel, brake calipers, feature lines and badges. You’ll find plenty of bespoke copper accents in the interior too.