Bentley has unveiled the new Bentayga Hybrid, a model which will go down in history as the first electrified car the Crewe-based automaker has produced. The Hybrid is the fourth variant to enter the posh SUV range, after the original W12, V8 diesel and V8 petrol. The introduction also marks Bentley’s first step towards full electrification.

What’s new here is the fitment of an even smaller 3.0 litre petrol V6, and it’s paired with a high-efficiency electric motor that also doubles as a generator to recharge the battery. Bentley hasn’t revealed performance figures just yet, but its cousin, the Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid, squeezes 462 PS and 700 Nm of torque from a similar setup. Expect the Bentayga to make just as much, if not more.

As a whole, the plug-in hybrid system boasts an electric-only cruising range of 50 km based on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), and a full charge of the battery from a 120-volt domestic household socket will take approximately 7.5 hours. However, customers with a 240-volt industrial connection installed at home can reduce the charge time to 2.5 hours.

And Bentley being Bentley, the charging dock has to stand out. For this, the automaker collaborated with designer Philippe Starck to create the Power Dock. It’s made by using sustainable materials – the surround is formed from pressed eco-linen with bio-sourced thermosetting resin, while the domed frontage is fashioned using a hot-pressure aluminium casting. The Power Dock is also designed to keep charging cables neatly stored when not in use.

According to the automaker, the Bentayga Hybrid still features all the flexibility associated with the W12 and V8 models. It shares the same permanent four-wheel drive with four on-road drive modes – Sport, Bentley, Comfort and Custom. The button that controls the engine idling start-stop system has been repurposed to cycle through three new E Modes – EV Drive, Hybrid Mode and Hold Mode. The last setup allows the car to run solely on engine power while retaining charge levels for later use.

Also on is a revised infotainment screen and Driver’s Information Panel with E Motion data. This provides details on performance, consumption and energy source. The tachometer also gets redesigned to feature a dial that shows when the car is operating in pure EV Drive, or the current engine speed if the combustion engine is in operation. A battery status dial replaces the coolant temperature gauge.

For maximum efficiency, simply use the integrated satellite navigation system. The car will automatically detect the most suitable E Mode for each part of the journey, and will reduce on-board charge to zero just as the vehicle reaches its destination. Of course, all hybrid-related functions will be added to the “MyBentley3” smartphone app.

A number of Hybrid-specific functions will also be introduced to the latest Connected Car ‘MyBentley3’ services, including My Battery Charge, My Cabin Comfort, and My Car Status, operated via a smartphone app. Through this, users can monitor the charging status remotely from their smartphones.

On the outside, the Bentayga Hybrid gets copper-coloured ‘Hybrid’ badging on the lower front doors and tailgate, copper finish to the wheel centres and Bentley badges, whereas the insert on the tread plates also get a ‘Hybrid’ badge.

The cabin features the usual array of posh accoutrements, and as with all Bentleys, this can be personalised to suit your liking. Safety-wise, there’s Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Traffic Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition, Park Assist, Electronic Night Vision and a head-up display. The eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system features a 60 GB hard drive – it supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionalities, including up to 30 pre-installed languages.

The Bentayga Hybrid will go on sale in selected markets by the second half of 2018. Back home, pricing for the Bentayga W12 starts from RM2 million, and you can view the full gallery, here.