It was going to happen sometime and now Bentley has finally made a commitment to the future of motoring after releasing a new hybrid concept.
The design brings Bentley’s highly coveted luxury into an energy efficient package, offering stunning performance, design and drive as well as low emissions.
It is the first Bentley plug-in hybrid created and makes the brand the first in its category to deliver a model that is kind to the planet.
The technology has been demonstrated in the flagship Mulsanne vehicle, but the first production car to feature hybrid drive is expected to be the Bentley SUV. Early predictions from the manufacturer have pointed to a 2017 release.
Visitors to the Beijing Motor Show will be the first to gaze upon the new technology for the very first time.
Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, chairman and chief executive of Bentley Motors, said the development of hybrid technology remains true to its existing values of luxury and effortless performance.
“Combining our renowned engines with electric power reinforces and enhances both principles, and so we will gradually introduce this powertrain across our model range.
“By the end of the decade, at least 90 per cent of our production will be available as a plug-in hybrid. We are proud to be pioneering these developments in the luxury sector.”
Bentley has said the new hybrid system will offer an increase in power of 25 per cent, while cutting CO2 emissions by as much as 70 per cent.
It’s a pretty bold statement, but it’s sure to appease fans of the brand and those calling for more energy efficient vehicles.
The manufacturer has stressed that the new models with hybrid drive will be delivered with the same ‘exquisite luxury, timeless design and industry-leading refinement’ seen in its existing range of machines.
Drivers will benefit from a car that can travel distances of up to 50km on electric power alone, while performance can be further enhanced for long drives.
Hybrid technology has been demonstrated in the Mulsanne in the first instance in order to show that energy efficiency can be achieved in models that display the highest levels of performance and style.
It will be presented in silver with copper signatures around the interior and exterior of the car, helping to emphasise the electric heart of the Bentley concept.
This detailing is seen on the headlamps, radiator shell bezel, brake callipers, feature line details and badges.
On the inside of the car, copper accents feature on the hand-crafted veneers fascias, switch bezels and instruments, as well as cross-stitching on the interior materials.
For those who are not yet ready to embrace the hybrid revolution, the Beijing Motor Show will also play host to a couple of other Bentley models.
This includes the Chinese debut of the Flying Spur V8, capable of travelling for 500 miles on just a single tank of fuel.
Elsewhere, the Continental GT Speed will be present – Bentley’s latest version of the iconic car is able to hit speeds of up to 206 mph, making it the fastest production car from the brand ever.
Finally, the Continental GT V8 S will also be on display for the first time in the Far East.
For more articles like this, receive our weekly e-newsletter, including partner deals and all things motoring, register your email below.